post production no. 2
In 2011 I received a mail from an art friend about a competition from the German state department for state facilities (Bundesimmobilienverwaltung). They published an open call for artists in their intranet and asked for ideas to transform former bunkers in German cities into something useful. They addressed specifically artists and not only architects. I was wondering about how many artists there might be having access to their intranet, anyway I like to think about useful things for society.
The art depository
The art depository should increase quality of life for residents and neighbours nearby. Moreover, it should provide an adequate and meaningful use for the building as well as a sustainable value for society with consideration of economic feasibility. The design is based on the example of a specific bunker in Herne, but the desired goal is a use of as many bunkers as possible in Germany in this way.
The goal is to create with these above ground bunkers a place of preservation of cultural goods ( especially contemporary art ) to make these goods tangible, and connect residents and visitors in this experience via a “green oasis”.
At the same time the “storage of the art” is meant to set up an intelligent and innovative retirement provision for artists.
The basement of the bunker will house the actual art storage room.
Therein artisits will store artworks of certain specifications (describing the storage properties) for 20 years. The storage is subject to costs and the operators of the art storehouse are granted the right to use the artworks for exhibition purposes. After 20 years, the art will be sold through auction houses. The artists receive for their own works of art 50 % of the proceeds, the other 50 % will be distributed after deduction of all costs to all participating artists. By the holding time of 20 years and the wide range of the stored art, individual artworks will achieve high prices. These will provide a benefit for the community of all artists.This type of retirement provision is also innovative and sustainable, because a) values are not transformed several times and b) no unrealizable pay offs are predicted. Nevertheless, the model will find artists’ approval because otherwise probably only rarely ” top artists ” are involved in the increase in value.
The art depository will be extended by a glass porch on the main front (2 entrances) , whose right corner serves as the entrance hall.
The glass porch serves as foyer, but also provides an open access to the roof terrace – café (accessible by lift). The lift exit is connected to the roof terrace via a footbridge .
Behind the two bunker entrances are the exhibition rooms ( depending on the condition, not load-bearing walls could be broken away or removed to obtain larger rooms) , but the character of the building should remain and the presentation of the art should rather aim at the “discovery” of the building. In the left staircase a lift is provided ( barrier-free access and freight elevator ).
1st floor / 2nd floor
More exhibition rooms will be created on the first floor. The concept is a mixture of thematic exhibitions (from the deposits), loans from the art market ( collectors , galleries ) and project spaces at disposal for contemporary artists.
This diversity (exchange and replacements of artworks, new artists’ positions in the project areas ) should motivate people to visit the place regularly.
3OG / roof terraces – Café
As a meeting place for residents and visitors, the café should also be a visual enrichment for the nearby residents and improve their quality of living. The glass dome should be connected on the right and left side to the existing building. (stairway for evacuation).
The four corners of the terrace are to be densely planted ( noise barrier for the residents) and can also be used for outdoor sculptures. The café is accessible independently from exhibition acivities via the lift in the glass porch.
In view of the architectural features of a bunker, the high costs of conversion and the originality of the object, this design aims to keep intervention as little as possible.The glass facade and the green roof terraces with café allow a new view and a new interpretation for the viewer / visitor.
If several bunkers nationwide are converted according to this concept , the “art depository” provides the conservation of contemporary art in the locality, which should be promoted as compensation to the Europeanisation of political structures.
If the operator of these art depositories stores specifically European art, he also documents his will to create and maintain European identity.
Thus, the project to minimize the collateral damage is transformed into the maximizing of collateral benefit .
I collected all papers, filled out the questionnaire, printed out 3 copies of the main plans and pictures and sent it all by post. In the application form the facility management department announced, that all applications would get a responding message. After some weeks, as still no response had arrived, I called them. They excused for not answering but confirmed that my application was registered. All registered applications would be part of an exhibition later on. I have not heard anything about an exhibition of the applications up to now (spring 2014). It is still pending…