Daring the Gap

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Martin Rendel, René Spitz
Edition Axel Menges, 2001 - Architecture - 96 pages
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Text in English and German. A yawning gap between two 1960s buildings. Not at all unusual in Cologne. A gap between two buildings, 2,56 m wide and 33 m long. Scarcely wide enough to park a few bicycles. This gap has been used as an office by the rendel & spitz advertising agency since early 1999. The architects b&k+ hooked a few concrete floors into the walls of the adjacent buildings, made sure there were stairs and a bit of infrastructure, suspended a glass facade at the front and back -- finished. To give any curious or interested parties an impression of the building, it was cleared out for a week and used by three selected European designers for a comprehensive development on the theme of 'braving the gap'. The traditional disciplines of product, furniture and lighting design were complemented with contributions addressing the other senses: music and perfume. Johanna Grawunder (Milan) devised a light installation leading from a cold area by the entrance to a warm and comfortable rest area at the end of the space. Konstantin Grcic (Munich) filled the whole volume of the space with a pink ball that fitted into it exactly.Visitors had to show that they were prepared to brave the gap by squeezing between this 'puff ball' and the wall to get to the other side of the room. They were rewarded at the end by reaching the stainless steel fireplace by Timo Salli (Helsinki). The Dusseldorf firm aerome enhanced the installation with a variety of fragrances. Finally, the Hamburg photographer Uli Mattes recorded the whole project and provided his own interpretation of the work.

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