Architectural practice Raumlabor Berlin has stepped in to provide a temporary structure to house discussions on urban issues while its home city museum closes its doors.
The Kuchenmonument– or Kitchen Monument– is described as a “place for contact and communication”.
The social sculpture is currently sitting outside the Berlinische Gallery, which specialises in displays of modern architecture and art, while a modernisation programme takes place.
It has been on show at the Venice Biennale and other destinations in Europe as well as being put up in 10 locations across New York.
The museum said: “After Liverpool, Duisburg, Utrecht and Venice, the kitchen monument is coming to Berlin to expand the Berlinische Galerie into its urban surroundings while the building is closed. This inflated translucent room for temporary communities unfolds like a bubble right outside the museum. Raumlabor Berlin have been practising their combination of art, architecture and urban intervention since 1999.”
The studio described the structure as a prototype for temporary urban communities which investigates the anchoring of spots within cities and the interaction between urban dwellers and visitors. It consists of two elements. The box is a steel sheet which is lined with grey felt and contains the pneumatic structure and the technology needed to inflate it. When the structure is blown-up it acts as the entrance.
The bubble itself is made of translucent reinforced material and expands to a length of 20m, it is 12m wide and 6m in height. A fan inflates the material and keeps it supplied with air.
Raumlabor – the name means “Space Laboratory” – is a group of architects who came together in 1999 in response to the rapid development of their city following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Their approach critiques the dominant mode of architectural production, proposing instead temporary projects that transform the urban landscape through what the design team call “urban prototypes”.
Pneumatic structures, submarines made out of waste materials and half-serious projects such as building a mountain from the rubble produced through uncovering a buried canal are all projects recently undertaken.
In a book published by the studio called “Acting in Public” Julia Maier and Matthias Rick state: “The utopian spirit of bricolage that characterises all of these projects demonstrates a new understanding of what architecture can be. “Instead of being static, everlasting, inflexible and expensive, it can be removable, mobile, a stage for all kinds of scenarios.”