Even as Berlin loses green space, the city remains Europe’s greenest with more than 400,000 trees. One of the grandest, a 100-year-old chestnut tree towering over Montbijoupark, was the center of Tree Concert, a public art project that took place in September to bring light, literally, to the city’s diminishing greenery with a glowing LED sculpture circling the trees trunk. The project was a combination of audio and visual elements. As chestnuts fell one after the other onto a series of internally lit shapes covered with polymer membranes placed around the tree, ambient sounds emanated from hidden speakers creating a symphony for park goers. Tree Concert was put on by the ad agency Proximity BBDO Berlin and the environmental organization BUND for Environment and Nature Conservation Germany, inspired by recent years when more trees have been cut than planted. The groups also wanted to draw awareness that trees are not being properly maintained because of a lack of funding. Thus they created an easy way to donate through text messages from passing visitors. The design was executed by Gang of Berlin with music from Ketchum Pleon PR.
Posts tagged with "Germany":
As children love to imagine, what if we actually built our cities out of Legos? A bridge in Wuppertal, Germany, a city of 350,000 to the northeast of Cologne, offers one vision of what that city might look like. Street artist Martin Heuwold, or as he tags, MEGX, created the grand illusion last fall when he painted a dingy concrete span in the bright hues of every architect's favorite toys. The city appears to be banking on the High Line Effect. Faced with the prospect of a declining population, Wuppertal has been looking for ideas to reinvigorate the city and increase residents' quality of life. The Lego Bridge is part of a 10-mile pedestrian and cycle path called Wuppertal Bewegung e.V. being built through the city on what was once the Wuppertal Northern Railway. Plans are also on the boards for a heritage trolley to run atop the viaduct. [H/T Colossal.]
Frankfurt’s Zeil gets another facelift with an ever-changing media installationThe Zeil is Frankfurt’s main shopping district, a pedestrian-only street bordered by two large plazas. In 2009, Massimiliano Fuksas’ vortex-clad Mab Zeil mixed-use center brought a new face to the street. Not to be outdone by its neighbor, the Zeilgalerie shopping mall began its own facelift the same year. Designed by Wiesbaden, Germany-based interdisciplinary collective 3deluxe, its LED-illuminated black facade brings a new sense of unity to the street and was recently given the Red Dot 2011 design award in the category of Information Design/Public Space. Originally designed by German architects Kramm & Strigl and completed in 1992, Zeilgalerie was an architectural mix consisting of a glazed semi-cylindrical structure and central entrance tower, to the right of which was a perforated aluminum facade. To make the building read as one structure without losing its original forms, designers at 3deluxe envisioned three all-black facade systems composed of glass and aluminum. The sleek building envelope would be the new canvas for a light installation showing off the latest capabilities in LED technology and multimedia design. The media installation spans the rightmost structure’s entire 2,800-square-foot façade. Double-glazed black glass panels are mounted flush with matte black cladding, behind which a rhomboid grid of 310 LED strips applied to the exterior glass pane creates the computer-controlled lighting display. Each of 19,700 diodes can be controlled separately, allowing the facade to project sharp geometric patterns as well as abstract shapes and the illusion of light and shadow drifting across the building. The facade performs at night (with music). Diagonal lines of light are superimposed by an orthogonal pattern printed onto the transparent film between glass panes. Corresponding to the pattern that is laser-cut into the metal cladding, which itself includes 2,500 LED modules, a dot screen ties the entire display together. The dot screen is repeated in the cylindrical structure to the left, which is clad in horizontal strips of matte-black aluminum outlined on the lower edge with more LEDs. Viewed as a whole, the facades take on a uniformly dark appearance in daylight, but slowly become three pronounced structures at night, each playing off the others’ patterns. Media design firm Meso Digital Interiors created the program to run the lighting display. “The complex layout of the LED fixtures called for a bespoke mapping system, which prepares all of the graphics for the Leurocom-built installation with sub-pixel precision,” describes the team in its design brief. Using graphical programming toolkit VVVV, Meso programmed scenes that would play “hide and seek” in the building’s contours, ensuring that no two performances are ever the same with software that calculates new frames for infinity.
Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964-1977 Dia: Beacon/CCS Bard 3 Beekman Street/18 West 86th St. Beacon, NY/New York, NY Though October 31 Dia: Beacon and the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies have co-organized a comprehensive exhibition of the post-war German artist Blinky Palermo. Palermo’s works on paper (1963–1973) are on view at Bard, while his Metal Pictures and later works (1973–1977) are displayed in Dia: Beacon’s expansive galleries. A student of Joseph Beuys, Palermo’s work dealt with the relationship of color and space, and in Europe he gained notice for his abstract large-scale murals. Inspired by a trip to America in the early ‘70s, Palermo created the To the People of New York series, above, based on the colors of the East German and West German flags.
Word spread yesterday that Dresden-born, Deconstructivist-inspiring architect Günter Behnisch had died. His son's firm, which had taken on much of his work, sent around the following announcement today. There will be a memorial service tomorrow in Stuttgart, Behnisch's long-time home.
Professor Günter Behnisch passed away in the early morning hours of July 12th at the age of 88. A good three years ago he retreated from professional life. Since then he has lived, weakened by several strokes, in his home in Stuttgart-Sillenbuch, where his family cared for him. His practice in Stuttgart-Sillenbuch, which he founded in 1952 (from 1966 onwards called Behnisch & Partner with partners Fritz Auer, Winfried Büxel, Erhard Tränkner and Carlo Weber; later with Winfried Büxel, Manfred Sabatke and Erhard Tränkner) existed until 2008. In the last years of the practice he worked with Manfred Sabatke in the Sillenbuch office. Günter Behnisch stood for the architectural expression of Germany’s transformation into a democratic, freer, and more social society. As an architect active in the years of Germany’s reconstruction he shaped the appearance of schools and universities. Architectural critics described his buildings and facilities for the 20th Olympic Games in Munich, as well as his buildings for the German Parliament in Bonn, as symbols of the “open democracy” of the “Bonner Republik,” and these buildings found widespread international recognition. As an educator Günter Behnisch had a decisive influence on several generations of architects. Through their work and their daily practices his teachings will no doubt, in the years ahead, continue to manifest themselves in a decidedly freer approach to architecture. Through a permanent questioning of the architectural uniformity of the, as he once put it, “self-opinionated” Berlin Republic and its particular definition of architecture, he eventually realized, after a time and energy-consuming planning process, his last project, the Academy of the Arts in Berlin, in 2005. Acknowledging that he would be unable to complete his last successful competition winning entries, Günter Behnisch entrusted his son Stefan with a number of projects—the “Haus im Haus” for Hamburg’s Chamber of Commerce and the Ozeaneum in Stralsund. […Stefan has his own firm, Behnisch Architekten, which had been working in concert with Behnisch & Partner for a number of years. …] During the years of collaboration projects such as the St. Benno Gymnasium in Dresden, the “Museum der Phantasie” for the Buchheim collection in Bernried, the State Insurance Agency Schleswig-Holstein in Lübeck, the service center for the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart and the office and exhibition building for VS in Tauberbischofsheim were realised. Today many of the staff employed by Behnisch Architekten were previously either students of Günter Behnisch in Darmstadt, where he was a professor, or they worked with him as interns in his office in Stuttgart-Sillenbuch. Günter Behnisch’s approach to architecture, in particular with respect to his ‘idea of man,’ continue to influence our daily activities.
The feature that I wrote for issue 20 is about personal rapid transit. PRT, as it is called, is a mass transportation concept that swaps high-capacity trains for small "pod cars." These individualized vehicles run on dedicated tracks from origin to destination, bypassing all other stations along the way. Such a system is currently being installed at London's Heathrow Airport and Foster + Partners is developing a PRT solution for its Masdar City project, but the idea has been around at least since the 1950s. In the late 60s and 70s several prototypes were developed and tested for possible urban application, but—aside from a semi-PRT system installed in Morgantown, West Virginia—none of them were ever realized. The one that came the closest was Cabinentaxi, which was to be rolled out in Hamburg, Germany. A recession in 1980 sank the project, but luckily they made this lovely film before falling into the dustbin of history. Enjoy.
From Germany via Dangerous Minds comes this stunning 3-D architectural illusion: A square building appears possessed, its facade rippling, segmenting and mutating. Giant hands manipulate the building's surface and then dissolve. A wave ripples through the building's bricks as if it were shivering. It's called "How it would be, if a house was dreaming," and it's a trompe-l'oeuil video projection by Hamburg-based creative collective UrbanScreen. The title's perfectly apt, as these look like nothing so much as disjoint visions flitting across the subconscious of a slumbering building. The building in question is O.M. Unger's Galerie der Gegenwart in Hamburg, completed in 1997 as the final wing of the Kunsthalle Hamburg art museum. Its facade is flat, gridded, and largely windowless, severe by day, but a perfect pixellated canvas for UrbanScreen's fantasies by night. A steady stream of passers-by on the sidewalk below—some stopping to watch, others simply going about their business—make the metamorphosing building behind them seem all the more surreal.
Sarah Palin isn't the only one with pipelines on the brain: The Estonian installation in the Giardini recreates a section of Gazprom's proposed Nord Stream pipeline, that would run directly from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. Naturally, some of the Baltic countries aren't wildly enthusiastic about this. Estonia doesn't have a pavilion of it's own, but that may be a good thing. The group placed a 63-meter-long yellow pipe running from the entry of the Russian pavilion: Goes straight past the Japan pavilion (hey, geographical accuracy isn't the point): And spits out—you guessed it—directly in front of the imposing German pavilion: Maybe it's a one-liner, but like every good joke, it is sharp and to the point.