sticks and stones...

Tonight Gavin from our studio flies out to Berlin on a week holiday with the lovely Rona. To say I am green with envy would be the understatement of the year. I am so long overdue for another trip to Berlin.

Not only do I wish I was heading there tonight, but in an ideal world I would be using a time machine to nip back in time to 2014 to catch David Chipperfield's exhibit - Sticks and Stones, an Intervention at Neue Nationalgalerie. This is one of my favourite buildings in the world...

Using 144 imposing tree trunks, the British architect transformed the open glass hall of the museum into a densely filled hall of columns for a three-month period. The installation engaged with the architecture of the Neue Nationalgalerie and simultaneously served as a prologue to the upcoming overall renovation of the museum that David Chipperfield Architects undertook in 2015.

For the title of his intervention, David Chipperfield borrowed the catchy beginning of an English children's rhyme: "Sticks and stones [may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.]" In so doing, he pointed to two elements of Neue Nationalgalerie and architecture in general: columns and stone. As light-hearted as the title seemed, this last special exhibition before the closing of the institution for several years was also quite profound in its meaning.

With Sticks and Stones, Chipperfield directed attention back to the spectacular construction of the museum, erected in the years 1965 to 1968 according to the plans of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969). Eight narrow steel supports bear the weight of the monumental roof that seems to hover freely in the air because the supports are located far from the roof corners. The two pillar-like marble-covered installation structures inside the glass hall have no supporting function.

This must have been utterly glorious!

Ok who wants a seat in my time machine, I've got plenty of room...

Queen Marie

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