Silent Rooms

The Aluminum House is located at the edge of the so-called Hansa District in Berlin-Mitte, a building which has stood empty for many years. It was built 1967/1968 by the architects Heinrichs and Müller (the former Senatsbaudirektor of the city of Berlin), commissioned by the Lutheran church , and used as an office complex. Through the processes of an ever-changing city, the Aluminum House — like so many other buildings — fell victim to neglect and vacancy. Supposedly there are no plans to tear it down, though there are likewise no announcements concerning its temporary use or conversion. It is decaying.

This compilation of photos examines the inner and outer structures of this process of decay.

The primary material consists of scenes from the interior space, where little has changed despite the fact that it was vacated many years ago. Posters, photographs and stickers testify to the people who here had personalized their office space, leaving a trace of themselves when they moved out. Desks with telephones stand around, useless, without expectation. The stagnancy of the objects narrates a relationship between humans and space, a relationship which was left behind in the process of urban change.

I also had the opportunity to have a personal conversation with the architect Hans Christian Müller. Among other things, he presented his idea about the building’s reuse, in connection with current construction events in Berlin.