Aram Bartholl – Blog

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Billboard Buildings

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This is how Potsdamer Platz Berlin looks like after 20 years of construction.  But wait a minute! Something is wrong here. Zoom in! Already noticed?

The whole building on the right side is just a huge scaffolding construction covered with large prints. It s a fake, a simulated building, or better a Real Life 3D rendering?

It has been around at Potsdamer Platz during all the constructions for years. I always thought a construction site was going on inside but today I realized it is  a complete fake.

There are so many layers worth discussing here that I don’t know where to start. I wish someone will use this picture for his/her PhD on a topic like “The evolution of billboard advertisement over the last century in relation to capitalist production of space in the era of post national urban eclecticism.” Go for it! Haha…

In a brief summary:

– The wasted chance of completely new build centre of the City of Berlin. Architecture in Berlin is a very said story. I am not going into details otherwise I ll be depressed all day.  (But to give you an idea. This is the front facade of the Frank Gehry DZ Bank in the centre of Berlin. No joke!  Translate this to other architects …OMG!)

– The discussion of facade and texture and its relation to the body/ core building in architecture. In fact the printed facade is a very consequent next step from what you see on the left. Why bricks and stone? In the era of Internetz we just need pixels!

– The victory of XXXXL billboard advertisement or how to make more money by renting the facade to advertisement than renting the actual building. I am sure that the industry will have an answer to this pretty soon. How about a fixed installed semi transparent full facade print for all houses. ( People don t need to look out of their windows any more, we have screens for that, haha)

– Double fake. A fake billboard on a fake building. The actual iPod ad you see here (on both sides) is not a separate print on top of the other print. It is all one single surface with a nice drop shadow to make the ad float. I am pretty sure they have a percentage deal with city authorities on how much percentage of the fake building may be an ad. The other 60% part should look like city planners of Berlin wished. And it’s a beautiful irony that the whole artificiality of Potsdamer Platz condenses into this ‘building’ with its printed jewelry shops.

– The production of architecture and it s relation to its 3D computer renderings. There is a saying among architects that you could read from a facade of a building which CAD software was used to draw, construct and 3D render it. This is not always true. But for sure there is an impact of more and more realistic 3D renderings on buildings in the planning process. Houses with their ‘digital look’ turn out to fit more in a computer 3D environment than into the actual city.

– Urban Planning in the era of digital age;  Humans, Buildings and the technology driven society;  Consumer electronics – the skyscrapers of the post modern society; Pixel by pixel – the evolution of the city in the digital age ; haha … feel free to take this further into a nice fundametal, well researched essay!

Also take a look at the nice photo series of Aleksander Prugar on this topic!
And please post reading recommendations on these topics in the comments! ( I don’t google any more … haha)

Written by Aram

December 2nd, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Posted in pic of the day

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