Sleep in an Art Installation — Dutch Exhibition Redefines Camping

Brittany Jones-Cooper
·Reporter
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A guest sits under “Upside down you turn me” before climbing up to catch some zzz’s. (Photo: Urban Campsite Amsterdam)

Most people sleep in a tent when they go camping. They are easy to put together, versatile, and will protect you from the elements. In the Netherlands, a unique campground is doing away with tents completely — allowing visitors to spend the night in funky, oddly-shaped art installations. 

Urban Campsite Amsterdam is an open-air art exhibit showcasing 14 quirky mobile campers created by artists. The installation is located in lJburg, a new city district of Amsterdam consisting of several artificial islands, and is surrounded by IJ lake. 

All of the the structures were made out of recycled materials, and include a tent with a trampoline roof, a wooden box, and a futuristic metallic ball called “Universe 7.”

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The trampotent — part functional, part fun. (Photo: Urban Campsite Amsterdam)

If guests want to spend the night in the egg-shaped “Val Ross” or any of the other structures, they can simply book a night on Airbnb. All of the structures come with a bed, but guests are expected to bring their own towels and toiletries. Rates range from €85 to €100 a night. 

Space is a commodity at the campground, so guests share a bathroom appropriately called the “Tribal Toilet Tower.” This structure is two-stories high and consists of toilets, showers, and a septic tank. 

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The Tribal Toilet Tower is a public facility for the camp. (Photo: Urban Campsite Amsterdam)

But this isn’t the only shared space. On a cool night, guests can also gather around the Superfire 2.0, a fireplace that heats up the surrounding area using an ingenious system. After making the fire, the heat flows over to the red lounge and slowly warms up the seats.  

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A few visitors warm themselves using the Superfire 2.0. (Photo: Urban Campsite Amsterdam)

The campsite is the brainchild of economist Annette van Driel and designer Francis Nijenhuis. The duo started the UrbanCampsite Foundation in 2013, with the hopes of connecting people to art and showcasing how creativity can transform a location.

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Lady Gaga isn’t the only one who can sleep in an egg. This structure is called Val Ross.(Photo: Urban Campsite Amsterdam)

The campground is open to the public and serves as a gathering place for local residents, artists, and tourists. Visitors can even take workshops with artists, watch performances, and participate in campfire conversations. 

The Urban Campsite Amsterdam is a temporary exhibit that ends on August 31. 

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