Strawbale Fortress

Childfriendly intervention in the public space.

A ‘fortress’ made from straw bales.
The form was based on a nearby bench.
Young and old were invited to climb up, jump on the structure and remodel it at  will.


Client : City of Ostend, department youth and sport
Realization: June 2017
Duration: 9 months
Location : Sportpark de Schorre, Ostend
Dimensions: 18 x 3 x 3m
Materials: stone foundation, straw bales and wood
Output documents: preparatory drawings, technical drawings, collages, photos
Photos : (c) Marie-Françoise Plissart


The construction was simply an enlarged (300%) version of the adjacent wooden bench, which made for a surrealistic whole.
The location was ideal: a small hill that is visible from afar.
Devoid of people, it was difficult to guess the scale of the ‘fortress’.
The process of natural fermentation ultimately caused the structure to spontaneously combust.
This happened nine months after the installation.
Everybody knew that this would occur, but nobody could predict when. It was a self-destructive playground for children.