Coloured Matters

Registration Center Ter Apel

64 hearing-rooms, 4 corridors and two waiting-rooms. 
Refugees from all over the world started their application for immigration here; a very uncertain process in which the identity of the applier had to be confirmed and approved of in order to get into the next phase of obtaining a status as refugee.

Project Details

Title Coloured Matters
Skills Interior design
Location Registration Center
City Ter Apel
Date 2001

Hearing Rooms

The sixty-four hearing rooms were divided into a neutral side where the official is seated. The other half of the room is brightly coloured and supplemented with three objects, differently displayed in each room.

Every colour group counts four rooms, the objects are made from four different types of veneer, and two ‘cupboards’ are vertical, two are horizontal. This program guarantees every room its own identity.

About the building

This registration centre was where asylum seekers applying for a residence permit for the Netherlands were first interviewed. The centre combined an existing building containing the management department with a new portion where the asylum seekers could live for several days and where the hearings and investigations were held.

The two are linked by a tapering corridor. The new part has a square plan with four internal courtyards. Despite the necessary security precautions and strategies of separation, the interior steers clear of an atmosphere of incarceration through its well-groomed finish and the daylight entering through roof lights. In tune with the Dutch change of policy on refugees the building now serves as a departure centre.

Architectural office: Geurst & Schulze

Waiting Rooms

Sixty-four photographs

Sixty-four photographs, portraits made of the rooms, hang in the two waiting-rooms were the refugees spend for days waiting in uncertainty of their future.

Related Works

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  • 2001-ter-apel-registration center-hoorkamers
  • 1995 installatie sculpturen, fineer

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