THE KREUZBERG TOWER

ARCHITECTURE: John Hejduk
YEAR: 1988
LOCATION: Berlin, Germany
PHOTOGRAPHY: © INVISIBLEGENTLEMAN 2016

kreuzberg-tower-john-hejduk-berlin-invisiblegentleman-©IG025001016

[EN]

In April of 2010 the architecture community gathered to protect one of the many at risk postmodern buildings of the 1980s.

The new owners of the Kreuzberg Tower by John Hejduk drew negative attention from notable architects when they began altering the building’s façade. The Kreuzberg Tower’s façade has now been restored, and the attention it received reflects on its postmodern history, and the prominence of its important designer.

Hejduk began his career at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art where he later served as dean from 1972 to 2000. The revered architect and artist built very few buildings, and is most recognized for his written, academic, and theoretical contributions to architecture.

He was a member of both the New York Five and The Texas Rangers, and wrote poetry as well as theory. The Kreuzberg Tower is a rare example of his built work.

The Kreuzberg Tower was part of the 1987 International BauAufstellung (IBA) Program. The German program continues to support innovative architecture and design through built and unbuilt projects. In 1987 the IBA invited noted architects and designers to envision new low and middle income housing for West Berlin.

Hejduk’s project is composed of a 14 story tower with two separate 5 story wings. The neutral colored tower and wings feature green geometric shapes attached to the facades. These extrusions serve as balconies and sun shades for the low income housing units.

Proposed refurbishment by the owners had included changes such as removal of the sun shades and expanding the balconies.

The negative attention produced by the architecture community halted the changes and encouraged a reconsideration of the importance of the building. Instead of the initial changes, a full renovation is planned for the Kreuzberg Tower, including the surrounding gardens, which were designed but never realized.

Today the Kreuzberg Tower is protected by the government with a clause stating that plans to alter it must be considered by the city’s building department and appropriate historians, as well as all of the 1987 IBA buildings.

This total reversal is thanks to the outspoken architecture community, and the recognition and response by the city for a unique building and its influential pedagogue designer.

[source: archdaily – http://www.archdaily.com/164259/ad-classics-the-kreuzberg-tower-john-hejduk – acessed – July 12, 2016]

THE SINTI & ROMA MEMORIAL

AUTHOR: DANI KARAVAN
LOCATION: BERLIN, GERMANY
PHOTOGRAPHY: © INVISIBLEGENTLEMAN 2016

sinti-roma-memorial-dani-karavan-berlin-invisiblegentleman-©IG024001016

[EN]

The Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism is a memorial in Berlin, Germany. The monument is dedicated to the memory of the 220,000 – 500,000 people murdered in the Porajmos – the Nazi genocide of the European Sinti and Roma peoples. It was designed by Dani Karavan and was officially opened on 24 October 2012 by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the presence of President Joachim Gauck.

The establishment of a permanent memorial to Sinti and Roma victims of the Nazi regime was a long-standing demand of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma and the German Sinti Alliance. In 1992 the Federal Government agreed to build a monument but the memorial faced years of delay and disputes over its design and location. The city of Berlin initially wanted to place it in the less prominent district of Marzahn, where hundreds of Roma and Sinti were held in terrible conditions from 1936. In 2001 it was agreed to site it in the Tiergarten close to other Holocaust memorials but work did not officially commence until 19 December 2008, the commemoration day for victims of the Porajmos. The memorial was completed at a cost of 2.8 million euros and unveiled by Angela Merkel on 24 October 2012.

[source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_to_the_Sinti_and_Roma_Victims_of_National_Socialism – acessed – July 8, 2016]

HACKNEY HOUSE

ARCHITECTURE: Ellis Miller
CLIENT: London Borough of Hackney
LOCATION: London, Uk
PHOTOGRAPHY: © INVISIBLEGENTLEMAN 2016

hackney house

[EN]

Project text by Ellis Miller:

A ‘pop-up’ media and events centre for the London Borough of
Hackney during the Olympics, creating a dramatic and dynamic
urban venue that captures the borough’s unique character.

EllisMiller worked closely with locally-based Harry Dobbs Design and PearsonLloyd to design a temporary venue for the London Borough of Hackney and UKTI to welcome visitors during the Olympics. By day it acts as a business expo and media centre, and by night it becomes a vibrant backdrop to a public performance programme from various artists including Paloma Faith, Labyrinth and Philip Glass. A range of meeting and communication spaces serves both visitors and the local community.

Despite its temporary nature, the design sought to create a venue that is simple, flexible and fun. A colourful entrance structure consisting of translucent welding curtains and steel mesh creates a playful focal point in the heart of Shoreditch. An existing historic carriageway door leads to a series of marquees and other temporary structures. The design makes use of as many low cost, reusable materials as possible, including recycled floorboards, translucent welding curtains and industrial cages.

“The architectural challenge was immense and we needed architects who understood the local cultural scene. They were intimately involved in the creative decisions about what and how to build in this challenging space. They were highly creative in both their architectural ideas and their practical suggestions for how the space could be delivered. Feedback from Government officials, international investors and local creatives was universally ecstatic. We are extremely grateful to EllisMiller for their vision, their excellent project management and being such good people to work with.” Carl Welham, London Borough of Hackney (Client)

[source: Ellis Miller website – http://www.ellis-miller.com/work/hackney_house – acessed – July 1, 2016]

DARWIN CENTRE PHASE II

ARCHITECTURE: C.F. Møller
CLIENT: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
CONSTRUCTION: BAM Construct UK
ENGINEERING : Arup (structural engineer), Fulcrum Consulting (services engineer), Buro Happold (fire)
LANDSCAPE : C.F. Miller Landscape
COLLABORATORS, OTHER : Turner and Townsend (cost consultant)
SIZE : 16000 m²
LOCATION: London, Uk
PHOTOGRAPHY: © INVISIBLEGENTLEMAN 2016

darwin centre phase ii

[EN]

Project text by C.F. Møller

The second phase of the Darwin Centre is an extension of the famous Natural History Museum in London, taking the form of a huge eight-storey concrete cocoon, surrounded by a glass atrium.

The Natural History Museum is both one of the UK’s top five visitor attractions, and a world-leading science research centre. The architecture of the Darwin Centre reflects this dual role, and reveals to the public for the first time the incredible range and diversity of the Museum’s collections and the cutting-edge scientific research they support.

The centrepiece is made to appear like a large silk cocoon,and forms the inner protective element that houses the museum’s unique collection of 17 million insects and 3million plants. The shape and size give the visitor a tangible understanding of the volume of the collections contained within. The regulation of temperature and humidity reduce the risk of pest infestations ensuring that the collections will be protected and preserved for many years to come. The exposed thermal mass of the continuous sprayed reinforced concrete shell maintains a stable internal environment, and minimizes energy loading.

Public access to the scientific core of the second phase of the Darwin Centre takes the form of a visitor route up and through the cocoon, overlooking the science and collection areas. Visitors can experience the Darwin Centre as a compelling and interactive learning space, observing the scientific and research activities without interrupting scientific work in progress.

[source: C.F. Møller website – http://www.cfmoller.com/p/-en/darwin-centre-phase-ii-i1834.html – acessed June 28, 2016]