Chicken coop

Published on 30 June 2020

Years ago the famous Dutch art collector Van Caldenborgh bought a special piece of art, called The Caldenhok from the gifted artist Joep Van Lieshout in Rotterdam. The Caldenhok is not an ordinary chicken coop. It is part of the Caldenborgh Collection on the beautiful estate of Mr. Van Caldenborg in Wassenaar, The Hague, in the Netherlands.

The Caldenhok consists of two parts: a night coop in a Chrysler Voyager and a day coop in a hydraulic trailer. The coops are connected by means of a movable concertina-style gangway to give the chickens the possibility to walk between the two coops. The trailer can be moved up and down hydraulically to move the trailer to a fresh piece of land. Opening two little doors in the Chrysler’s night coop allow access to the eggs.

Both the Voyager and trailer became heavily corroded standing outside in the gardens, day and night, and summer and winter, and were brought to Bart Holland’s workshops for total restoration. Of course Mr. Van Caldenborgh could have chosen new chicken coops but he wanted to have the original restored to its former glory. In close cooperation with the artist Van Lieshout, who was present at all stages of the restoration, Bart Holland succeeded in restoring this work of art. Apart from restoring the body of the Chrysler Voyager from bare metal, as well as the trailer, great care was taken to preserve this piece of art and protect it from the wet and cold winter conditions on the estate.

The heavily corroded trailer was taken apart and every piece cleaned, sandblasted, zinc-coated, and painted. The hydraulic system of pumps, electrics, and hoses was replaced. Also the concertina moveable gangway was made again from scratch. Special attention was given to the wire netting. This was made double in small gauge nets: for quite some time small, but unwelcome hungry animals used the chicken coop for their daily meals.

Now The Caldenhok is back to its former glory on the estate in Wassenaar, where it attracts much attention as a living piece of art in the gardens.

And the eggs? Each morning the family Van Caldenborgh has fresh eggs for breakfast.


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