Fagus Werk, Walter Gropius, Alfeld

a meeting of purpose and the Fagus-Werk

three exceptional persons met in time and place in Alfeld, Lower Saxony in 1910 to create and build a dream; the Fagus-Werk. In one side the experienced 52 years old Carl Benscheidt believed that people’s feet deserved healthier shoes, in the other side Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer on their late twenties believed that architecture must and can enlighten the job of people and organisations. These people seemed to me as leaving reasons of profit aside and focusing on better health for everyone, and enlightment for the those who will design and produce the lasts to make the shoes.

Being within these Bauhaus styled premises, one feels that economical success is a consecuence rather than the motive of this project that emerged from these three outstanding persons together and ultimately brought better feet health to mankind.

The unmistakeable Bauhaus styled housing settlement Georgsgarten in Celle.

Celle and suddenly Bauhaus

Landmarks of Bauhaus architecture and lifestyle mix with the traditional timber framed houses of the old city center in Celle, Lower Saxony.

The principal’s villa was about to be demolished to extend a parking building. Now turned into a museum.

The first attempts to use color in housing facades at the “Italian Garden” houses. Nearby the central services house at the Blumläger Feld that shows the attempts in the 30’s to provide affordable housing at the lowest cost and the Otto Haesler Museum, and details of the preserved Kitchen at one of the workers houses.

Closing the day in late afternoon in the streets of the old town in Celle and yet a Bauhaus styled Cafe.

close up of a sapling growing atop a mosy boulder

yew woods and Paterzell

Walking under the canopy of yew branches in the woods of the Paterzell one can learn many aspects of the Yew. Several stations set along the path guide the eye of the wandered to the particulars of this tree.

Yew wood has an old recorded history of use. From bowmaking to lutes, chemothreapy in the modern times, and for more or less earthy purposes very often found near graveyards and churches.

Photowalk in the golden hour in summer at the garden. Munich

the golden hour and a walk in the garden

in the late Sunday afternoon after a hot day the air is damp and full of life. Going out for a photographic walk in the garden in the golden hour can offer chances for some good pictures.

Westfriedhof long exposition U-Bahn departing station, platform is emptying. Orange and yellow ceiling hanging lamps from Ingo Maurer

Orange and Blue at the U-Bahnhof at Westfriedhof

The U-Bahnhof in Westfriedhof is a feast of complementary colors. Orange and yellow large dome-shaped hanging lamps by Ingo Maurer, blue casts off the walls and ceiling and the branded blue of the Munich U-Bahn. The access stairway sets a desaturated contrast that marks the entrance and enhances the transition to the vibrant underground.

The station is part of a modern and well designed connection hub of bus, tram and U-Bahn in the Westend of Munich. At the speed that the city is growing year-by-year, these infrastructures are very much needed. Visiting this one, offers a glimpse of how a well organised traffic system may look like. And how pleasurable to the eye and the soul moving around in public transportation can be.

70's architecture views are offered to the slow paced visitor and curious observer in the Olympiadorf

Olympiadorf above and Olympiadorf under

The Olympiadorf Munich was built for the Olympic games of 1972 as a city development experiment under the idea of a 300 hectare automobile-free “city-in-the-city”. After the games, the development was integrated into Munich. Nowadays about 6000 people live in this city quarter.

Despite maintenance and renovation works, the Olympiadorf offers a bubble view of the architecture and city visions of the early 70’s. It is an invitation to a slow paced visit of discovery and a feast of photographic composition.

There is an underground side to the Olympiadorf too. Hundred access points connect the upper world of pedestrians and bicyles with the under world of automobiles and parking lots. In these connexion points between the two worlds the more interesting views remain hidden to most casual visitors. Strong light contrasts combined with the cold hues of concrete and the almost 50 years of weathering make an interesting mix.

Desaturated colors are a trait that reflects a continuity between the two worlds above and below. Especially during an overcasted day or with thin sheets of clouds the blue cast on the highlights gives the place a special atmosphere.

Memorial to the victims of the terrorist attack of the 1972 Olympic Games, Olympiapark, Munich, Germany

memory of terrorism and olympiapark

Twelve persons killed by terrorism have their names engraved in a granite stone T-shaped memorial under one of the steel cables holding the canopies of the Olympiastadion. In the beloved and ever busy with joggers Olympiapark of Munich.

Opened in September 2017, the Erinnerungsort Olympia-Attentat stands at direct eyesight of the Olympiadorf, where the hostage in 1972 was started. Towards the opposite side you almost can see the memorial stone.

old salt and new salt

Like ancient fortifications, old salt prospection sites, like in Gerri de la Sal, are as varied and ingenious as local conditions made them. Tools and methods gave way to specialisation and professions bygone. We gaze at those old artifacts in museums today.

Yet in some cases those sites resist oblivion. One could believe their products have special properties that make them better than industrial offerings, and it may as well be. However the biggest contribution of those products is the promise of sustainability for small communities that otherwise would be displaced by the economies of scale of industry. Challenging global commodity prices, they send us a message of resilience and ingenuity.

Disregarded and abandoned Piaggio Vespa in the streets of Munich, Germany. The legacy of the outstanding ingenuity of the Italian engineers of the 20th century.

piagio vespa cult

In the post-war years of Europe a wonder of mobility, later converted to a cult item, the Piaggio Vespa is one more exponent of the legacy of the outstanding Italian engineers of the 20th century.

Pont du Gard museum. It was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1985 because of its historical importance.

abundance of water and decadent rome

A 50 Km aqueduct with 35Km of tunnels ground in rock and several bridges made of limestone with rudimentary tools and cranes is not a project to be taken lightly. Pont du Gard being the best preserved bridge, stands proud under the heat of the sun of June in the Provence.

One would think that such huge enterprise was meant to secure the all so important supply of basic water needs of Nimes. However this wasn’t the real purpose of the Roman politicians; The water from this aqueduct was only meant to supply the pools and baths of Nimes, and ultimately a work of Roman Empire propaganda, financed with a temporary levy of imperial taxes over the region, for the enlightening of the savages of Europe. 

An empty view of the Pont du Gard is not an all too common chance, but of being early underway. What in the summer days this far south is not a bad idea anyway. In the early hour, the light still has a yellowish cast, an angle that remarks the inscriptions in the old stones, and the sky is not totally whited out.

Later the riverbanks will slowly fill with visitors looking for refreshment, canoes will pass under the bridge on their way downstream, and shadowy tables at the coffee terraces along the site will be attentively watched for vacancies.