Making Buildings Dream

International
Monday, August 10, 2009
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From Germany via Dangerous Minds comes this stunning 3-D architectural illusion: A square building appears possessed, its facade rippling, segmenting and mutating. Giant hands manipulate the building’s surface and then dissolve. A wave ripples through the building’s bricks as if it were shivering.

It’s called “How it would be, if a house was dreaming,” and it’s a trompe-l’oeuil video projection by Hamburg-based creative collective UrbanScreen. The title’s perfectly apt, as these look like nothing so much as disjoint visions flitting across the subconscious of a slumbering building. The building in question is O.M. Unger’s Galerie der Gegenwart in Hamburg, completed in 1997 as the final wing of the Kunsthalle Hamburg art museum. Its facade is flat, gridded, and largely windowless, severe by day, but a perfect pixellated canvas for UrbanScreen’s fantasies by night.

The galerie by day. (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The galerie by day. (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

A steady stream of passers-by on the sidewalk below—some stopping to watch, others simply going about their business—make the metamorphosing building behind them seem all the more surreal.

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