14 February 2010

Really Spaced Out


Hardscape ∕ Public Space

Vague-scape: on Georgenstraße in Berlin [Click to enlarge]

Is this dead space ‘dead space’ because its function is over generalised, or because its function is over specialised?

I might say the latter, but its function isn’t clear. It seems to be the entrance to a hotel, but the brightly lit overhang speaks more of warehouse loading bay than a welcome mat for the weary traveller. It looks like somewhere service personnel might smoke.

However, if the space is dead because it is over generalised, then why is it so secretive and paranoid? The ramp is guarded by pot-plant sentries, the four possible entrances are unsignposted (with the main one taking on the form of a decelerating turnstile) and the windows conceal their contents with opaque foil.