The Art of Tech Living: Amsterdam’s Urban Campsite Lets You Sleep in Sculptures

Every year, Amsterdam’s Centrumeiland of Ijburg hosts ‘Urban Campsite,’ a public exhibition of sculptural habitats allowing local residents and tourists can spend the night in mobile sculptures. Designers, artists and architects are invited to create cool structures that are way more interesting than the average tent and install them at Science Park, a new area in Amsterdam-East. This year’s theme is ‘The Art of Tech-Living,’ envisioning how art can give science and technology a little boost of imagination.

“Did you ever feel the urge to sleep in a piece of art? Well, then this is your chance! UrbanCampsite is the place where a camping and unique artistic objects meet. You can stay in beautiful, special, sometimes crazy works of art furnished as a hotel room. The UrbanCampsite offers its guests all the amenities of a normal campsite … and quite a lot more than that!”

Prospective guests book the individual habitats on AirBnB, and each sculpture is fully furnished inside. These ‘sleeping objects’ typically have room for two, though a couple will fit children as well, and they range from 85-120 Euros per night. They’re often made of reclaimed materials like trampolines, shrink wrap, pallets and metallic insulation.

For 2017, the selection of sleeping objects includes a mini monastery with an oak sapling at its center, a giant camera obscura, a Dutch electric car from the 70s once used as a mobile post office, a stargazing lab, a 360-degree rotating research ship and a “luxury bungalow made of a sewer tube,” among others.

“Waiting for Water” by Stefanie Rittler and Sascha Henken, for example, bills itself as a humorous view on climate change, saying “The sea water level is constantly rising. Should we wait or change something?” In any case, you can enjoy the views from the upper-level bedroom while the exhibition is still safe on dry land.