Regional Deutsche Bundesbank head office in Chemnitz
The project consists in the construction of the new regional Deutsche Bundesbank head office in Chemnitz, formerly Karl Marx Stadt, in a place with a dense and traumatic history. The proposal addresses the issue of permanence and solidity (felt as being necessary for the first time, almost), and also of nature understood in a paleontological way as the petrification and crystalline solidification of organic matter.
We imagined the building as a fossil that reveals its previous organic structure. The translucent facade is one element that contributes to the building of this idea. The walls are constructed using cables stretched taut at the top by springs. The tensioning of the cables varies according to the weather conditions, which are monitored by computer and the appropriate adjustments made. This means that the uprights can be extremely slender, as they are constantly stressed. The walls are sheets of complex laminates made up of layers of glass with a lamina of stone set between them. This stone lamina was chosen because of its ability to respond to outside conditions, with marks appearing and disappearing, giving the inert material a certain organic air. These glass and fossil laminates were tested in the laboratory to ensure that they would withstand the demanding temperature conditions and meet the necessary security requirements. The sheets were attached to the structure using the techniques typical of high-tech curtain walls. The strips laid between the sheets as a finishing touch, as well as all the exterior elements, are archaic, in bronze.
"Monumentality is the quality that makes time visible, like a stone the stream of water. This building does the float in the stream of the new images, but rests as a stone, a heavy object – an objection? – on the ground."