Most post-war housing estates in Berlin were often built in form of tower blocks and in a fairly identical fashion, however when looking closer you find a lot of variation.
These buildings initially provided modern and affordable housing for many middle class families. With an easing housing market and other affordable alternatives, often a demographic change occurred: The middle class left to build their own house in the suburbs or for the increasingly popular “Berliner Altbau” in the city centres, while they were gradually replaced by families with economic and social burdens.
Initially a vast improvement of life for many people after the war, some of these housing estates became social hot spots while others became more popular. In recent years various initiatives tried to counter the negative effects, e.g. by painting the rather grey buildings.
Staring at Buildings
We, as urban society deliberately create housing space to live in. To that extent architecture is a representation of how we think we should live.
Just as society evolves, our view on ideal residential architecture evolves as well and is consequently adapted based on experience, science and life itself.
At the same time these buildings become part of urban dynamics once they are placed among us and in turn affect us as surrounding society as well.
In a sense architecture effectively recreates itself and continues to form and shape our society.
Staring at Buildings - Berlin Edition
Architecture is one of the key elements of our civilization. Architecture demonstrates the predominance of the human species in this world. Architecture displays our capability of erecting aesthetic structures that go beyond their functional purpose. Architectural structures that have the power to astonish us and that stimulate the society that surrounds them as we form and shape whatever material to our liking.
Impressions of Earth
Our world consists of vastly different corners. Interestingly it is typically only a fraction of those places we actually know, that is to say the ones we normally spend time in. Our percipience of those places is not only based on visual experience, but also socio-cultural and physical experience. Our own little corner of the world literally becomes the world for us, which we feel, smell and experience every day.
At the same time we know of course through media and internet that in fact there are other places too. However in reality it takes a somewhat active effort to remind ourselves of that ambivalence, so eventually we tend to forget more often than not.
When going to places that are so different from what we are used to, we can be left with a very unique impression: disbelieve, astonishment, surprise. Sometimes we might even feel displaced as some corners of the world simply seem to be unreal.
Shades of Grey
Photographs from a journey through North-West India.
A series of black & white photographs showing one of the largest moving sand dunes.
Water drops on concrete.
Initially they are just machines, built to move people from under ground to the surface. They fit neatly into the construction and don’t really grab your attention when using them every day.
But when removing the masses of commuters and other people, I find the actual beauty of escalators becomes visible.