22 June 2011

Modern Façades Today, Now #004


Damage fetishism

On the northern edge of Potsdamer Platz, the line of cobble stones marking the course of the former Berlin Wall thrusts under the stoney skirt of Hans Kollhoff and Helga Timmermann’s office building ‘P5’. A crack has appeared. Are cheap materials to blame, or are cosmic forces at play?

Recent studies show that infrasonic tremors, resonating just beyond human perception at around 17 Hz, emanate naturally from the line and are focused by the convergence of vertical and horizontal planes. Accumulated psychogeographic vibrations, combined with winter frosts, have severed the façade element, and hair-width fissures penetrate deep into the steel reinforced superstructure.

Furthermore, staff and visitors of the ground-floor restuarant commonly report feelings of anxiety, queasiness and even sorrow after prolonged exposure to the location. Some are even afflicted by mild, temporary disturbances of their peripheral vision: blurrings, grey blobs and hatchings just beyond the field of view.

The guardian spirit of Potsdamer Platz, a latter-day Genius Loci with her cornucopia of casino, fast-food franchise and VIP shuttle service is running out of patience. Without regular sacrifices made at the temple alter, the rumblings are set to increase their amplitude. Profound structural failure followed by collapse are inevitable.

Modern Façades Today, Now