The Westkreuz in Berlin is difficult to explore for pedestrians and cyclists. Automobile and railway lines coexists in between a labyrinth of garden plots and no longer used railway tracks. There is a urgent need for footpaths and bridgings.
The Project 714, which is the number of units it consist of, is designed for this specific situation. With it’s large form it creates a dialogue between the ICC Berlin and it’s neighboring districts Charlottenburg and Grunewald. The 16 meters slim and 350 meters long structure stretches along the tracks of the S-Bahn and over the Halenseestrasse. Only some foot points touch the floor. The circulation is on a elevated level without car traffic. The generic grid allows a wide range of possibilities for occupying space and transforming it. The high rises of the structure offer different kind of housing.
Who influences you graphically?
I draw inspiration from many different sources. I love browsing through blogs like KooZA/rch or archidose. There are many contemporary architectural offices which I admire for their aesthetics, like KGDVS or vylder vinck taillieu. I also get very inspired by images from the 80s like James Stirlings axonometric drawings or the early OMA collages. Bas Princen is one of my favorite photographers and especially his composition and colors appeal to me.
Currently there is a proliferation of Hockney images, what is your take on this? Why did you choose to include these within your collage?
I like using non photographic pictures of people in my images, because it gives the graphic and the project itself a more open and flexible look. Architects visualize ideas of buildings and a not too finalized and too photorealistic look helps the viewer to grasp the concept.
I chose David Hockney's images because I am in love with his entire body of work and his way of composing pictures. Additionally, the people that I added to the collage fit perfectly to the story I wanted to tell: The couple in David Hockney’s 'Le Parc Des Sources' sitting on plastic chairs and looking into the nature are now looking at the park of my proposal. And Mr Clark and the the cat from Hockney's 'Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy' are now feeling cozy at one of the flats in 714.
What defined the graphic language of the proposal? What is the relationship between the monochromatic line drawing and the montage?
The contrast between the line drawings and the colorful collages refers to the contrast of the strict and rigid grid and the playful ways it can be used. I tried to dispay in every image a different and unique perspective on the proposal. On the one hand, you see the whole city of Berlin in the figure ground plan, and then you have an inside view of one of the apartments. Due to the size of the project the drawing show different scales with different techniques.
What defined the square format?
The square format (5,5 x 5,5 m) is the unit of the grid the structure it is made of. The square doesn’t have a direction, its length is the same regardless of the orientation. I chose this format because it is very open to different uses and occupations. Also the dimensions are so unusual that it is hard to tell if you see a one- or a two-story unit.
Furthermore, the drawings are also presented in the square format. Every drawing is like one unit in the big structure of 714 and shows different ways of usage and levels of details.