Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spaceship Orion Has Landed ...

... or something like that, though it is called The Humboldt Box, whatever reference to a shoe box or packing crate that may call to mind being quite adequate. It's raison d'être was to provide an elevated platform from which to view reconstruction of the Berliner Schloß where there is now a grassy area after demolition of the Palast der Republik and archeological excavations where the remainder of the original Palace stood.
The only problem: Construction will not begin until 2013, so now we are "privileged" to have this strange "temporary landmark" object obscuring all perspectives from and down Unter den Linden and marring the view across to other real buildings temporarily possible after the clearing of the site. Also, there are inside very few spots from which one will later be able to view the construction work, as, of the upper floor terraces, only one looks in that direction, and both are full of tables and chairs for the "exclusive café" with overpriced items on the menu. Pay for a coffee to sit there and hope others don't just try to see the view between you and the rail, which is their perfect right, as you must also pay admission to enter the whole curious object.
The exhibition pieces to "introduce" the museal usage of the reconstructed palace are arbitrary and lost in the cold steel and concrete atmosphere. The "Humboldt Lounge" on the northern end of the third floor provides one escape from the obvious commercial aim of the entire structure, as there it is possible to sit on an upholstered bench at a huge window overlooking the Lustgarten with the museums and cathedral flanking it. There are even books from a library you can browse in. That, at least, is good for a refuge from unpleasant weather, as was the case today.
One can only hope the Berlin Palace will be more quickly completed than planned so that this bizarre spaceship can liftoff from its launching pad and never be seen again.
The operators tout it as a new "event location", the 4th floor barren for that purpose (and you can also have the café and terraces for your private pleasures as well), but evidently only for German speaking "events" (aber kein Ereignis!), as their website knows no other language whatsoever.
At least I made a few photos there and could spend some time where it's warm to write a while on such a chilly rainy day at the end of June during my time out of the hospital between chemo and marrow transplant.
And by the way, as an "Opening Special" (Neudeutsch) Eintritt (Altdeutsch, translation: admission) is only 2 euros through August 15.
Here is the webcam image of the spaceship on its scarred-earth site, though it doesn't seem to update on its own...

... and here are some photos I took from there this early afternoon:

1 comment:

  1. That is one of the ugliest, weirdest looking structures I think I've ever seen. Thank God it's temporary! (At least, with the rain, you got some amazing pictures!)