- FADE TO GREY -
Grey. It makes no statement whatever; it evokes neither feelings nor associations: it is really neither visible nor invisible. Its inconspicuousness gives it the capacity to mediate, to make visible, in a positively illusionistic way, like a photograph. It has the capacity that no other colour has, to make 'nothing' visible.
Gerhard Richter interviewed by Hans Ulrich Obrist, 1996
Since its inauguration in 1902 the main building of the former Imperial Berlin Academy of Arts has been modified continuously. Especially the Faculty of Architecture has been witnessing numerous additions, alterations, modifications and built-in elements by the most outstanding protagonists of German post-war architecture, due to the fact that it was located in the top floor of the building and has been destroyed heavily during the war.
The common functions such as the central lecture hall, the offices of the dean, common conference and seminary rooms and the central cafe which also serves all other faculties of the building are all situated along the central axis of the building- the heart of the faculty of architecture.
The conceptual approach of LUDESCHERVONSPRECKELSEN during renovation was to achieve maximum gain of common space by a minimum of architectural means. Therefore the Central Area 'Mittelachse' was cleaned from all kinds of redundant structures. in order to achieve one continuous spacious, contemporary space that accommodates for all kinds of occasions in the course of daily and annual academic cycles: such as the well-known UdK 'Monday Lectures Series ',or daily seminary work, exhibitions, presentations, student parties and book presentations.
For these occasions, the eleven meters long Corian-counter hosts all necessary functional elements within its monolytic shape. It serves as backbone of the Café and common gathering area of the whole Art School.
Besides the counter programmatic and functional needs were encountered by introducing some very distinct wall and ceiling paneling. Each of the elegant surfaces serves unique purposes of sound absorption, sound reflection, hosting infrastructure and storage, or serving as black board or white board, while being clearly distinguished from the existing by shape or joining.
Spacial cohesion of the central collective Area was underlined by the strategy of an of an monochrome color concept based on RAL 7035, Light Grey.
All architectural elements - from the newly installed surfaces to all existing walls and ceilings – are unified to one continuous space.
As stated by German Artist Gerhardt Richter the color Grey helps blurring all differences and boundaries. The space is pushed to the background serving as a backdrop for the appropriation of space by its users.
Distinct elements, such as signage , the seating and a view protection screen on the full height glazing between the café and the kitchen are colored in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. The calibration of colored dots on the screen and the seats are another playful variation of RAL 7035 , Light Grey.
"One man on a lonely platform
One case sitting by his side
Two eyes staring cold and silent
Shows fear as he turns to hide
Ah, we fade to gray, fade to gray
Ah, we fade to gray, fade to gray "
Midge Ure, 1979