Chris recently visited Foundation B.a.d at their current base in a former school building in the south of Rotterdam . Foundation B.a.d.is an artist’s initiative founded in 1987, when a group of art students occupied a decommissioned bath-house.
Foundation B.a.d.is an artist’s initiative founded in 1987, when a group of art students occupied a decommissioned bath-house. It was a short lived experience, but ultimately influential. It also highlighted the need to establish a formal structure for the organisation. Subsequently, ‘Foundation B.a.d’ was born – Bad meaning ‘Bath’ in Dutch.
Contrasting environments of parkland, residential streets, canals and the city’s huge scale industrial harbour surround the facility. Construction of the building took place in 1954 in Charlois. Charlois is now an up and coming residential area particularly popular with the creative community. As such, this location offers the opportunity to be close to a growing network of artists and other creative practitioners.
The Foundation currently has 17 members, who work independently, as a group, or with external partners. The artist’s practices range from painting, photography, sound, video, graphic design, architectural projects, and public art, to hosting, organising, and teaching.
B.a.d’s principal aim is to provide studios, guest studios, and a venue for presentations and events. Apart from the member’s studios, Foundation B.a.d offers temporary guest studios for local and international artists. As a Foundation with more than 2 decades of experience, they are proud to have hosted over 400 guests from around the world.
Furthermore, the foundation makes the most of the relics of the building’s former uses as a school, making communal spaces of the large hall and garden. Members and guests use these spaces for artistic and social activities. All of this makes Foundation B.a.d a vibrant, enjoyable and pleasant environment for artists to work and live. It has also helped integrate the foundation with the local community, who have access to the gardens and often attend social events.
HarrisonStevens will put this experience to use in influencing the design of a forthcoming art incubator and digital hub project in the south of England.