Two Harbour Buildings
Like its big brothers in Rotterdam, Hamburg, London or Genoa, Münsters canal harbour (released from servitude) is in the process of becoming – but what – a new urban quartier, bar and café mile, victim of city-event culture or melancholic post-industrial hangout for artists and architects.
No. 14 and No. 16 like their warehouse predecessors are ambivalent as to exactly what goods or activities they host. Deep (22m) loft plans facilitate a multitude of layouts. Façades on the other hand are specific, material and character giving.
No. 14, a sharply sculptured orange end building turns out on close inspection to be a stack of bricks close-packed in North-South direction (heads to harbour and street sides to the end walls), an overt tactility eclipsed by flush mounted sun blinds. Seen from afar the overall volume has photoshop-like graphic quality, a designed lack of depth.
A ballet of sun-louvers also animates the South harbour-facing and predominately glass façade of No. 16. A stepped curtain creating (on sunny days) an intermediate zone between inside and out. Without the obligation of transparency (harbour panorama) or sun protection (North) the street façade of No. 16 conjures a tapestry of muted anodised colour, generous glass squares and 3D projections.