14 September 2009

Covert Lunchtime Operation


Architects ∕ Buildings

There’s nothing quite like sneaking onto a building site during your lunch hour, and then bumping into the architect. In fact, it’s how we actually define a successful lunch hour. So a day after Oliver’s article on the Brandlhuber development went online, the SLAB editorial team went out to inspect the building’s progress, and took colleagues Florian and Johannes with them.

(top) Our head of covert operations photographing the second floor interior (middle) A graffito, which reads “Die Welt hasst uns nicht” – “The world doesn’t hate us”
(bottom) penthouse interior

As Oliver already mentioned, buildings can be deceptively beautiful in their raw state, and become an ugly desaster once cladded, and the same is true for an interior. But a quick peek into the K.O.W. gallery, which already has a functioning office space on the first floor, hints towards a confident mix of cheap materials and high craftsmanship.

Certainly the structure is impressive: the peculiar geometry of the penthouse roof is a satisfyingly simple call-and-response conversation with the roof shape of the neighboring building. But the polycarbonate sheeting is still something of a mystery: is it really a translucent wall? Surely it won’t sound-proof the interior enough. And what is the function of the structure hanging between the sheeting and the structural colums? Some kind of shelving, or braces for an interior layer of insulating glass?

On the way out, we managed to press a SLAB visiting card into the perplexed hand of Mr Brandlhuber, which now increases our tally of celebrity card recipients to two, the first one disappearing into the pocket of Mr Hans Ulrich Obrist some months back. Yes sir, this journal is On The Map.