The Gem That Fell to Earth
David Sokol -- Interior Design, 2/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
Photo by Daniel Welschenbach.
Although the purpose of Plan, the architecture festival that hits Cologne, Germany, each fall, is to envision the cities of the future, the setting itself changes very little. So Marco Hemmerling decided it was time to shake up the status quo and invite both native and visiting festival-goers to reexamine the Rhineland's premier metropolis in a fresh light. During the weeklong run of Plan08, Cityscope was deposited in the public square flanked by Cologne's Gothic cathedral and 1950's central train station.
Photo by Christian Doppelgatz.
Marco Hemmerling Architektur Design's faceted pod, with its polycarbonate panels clad in colorful polyester foil and held in place by an aluminum frame, looked a bit like an enormous gemstone crash-landed from another planet. At night, when the fluorescent fixtures inside the shell ignited, it became almost completely transparent. In daylight, the angled planes reflected their surroundings many times over. "The installation was meant to densify the visual complexity of urban spaces," Hemmerling says. It's a good bet that Cityscope mirrored parts of nearby buildings to which passersby had never raised their eyes before.