Freunde von Freunden: Arno Brandlhuber / 2015
The “Ernst Lück” underwear factory was built sometime in the 1960s on a prime waterfront spot in one of the most attractive bays off of Lake Krampnitz. The state-run enterprise occupied a compound consisting of two long buildings of three stories each, offering a total of 700 square meters of manufacturing space. A few meters beyond the buildings, at the water’s edge, workers and weekend visitors shed what was once made here: undershirts and underpants. The buildings were one of the many unintentionally surreal places in the GDR – in this case, an underwear factory overlooking a nude beach. After the fall of the Wall, the company was liquidated, while the empty buildings stayed behind. Dubious production companies made soft-core porn films on the site. The waterfront property went to seed. Windowpanes were broken. Speculators bought the land, intending to tear down the factory buildings and build “villa-style” detached houses, but they never got the money together. And so the underwear factory buildings managed to stay standing. ➡︎
Maybe it’s time to comment on the general fear in Germany, the strange discomfort when it comes to concrete. It probably comes from the residential developments of the late ’50s and particularly the ’60s. Something got stuck there. And the social rigor associated with these large housing developments is often associated with concrete as a building material as well. But by now this has largely dissipated. I don’t think there is anyone left that sees concrete any differently from wood or plastic or glass. But since we are so little inclined to look toward the future and are obsessed with the past instead, we are still talking about concrete as a bad component.
I was an altar boy at a Catholic church. It was the first modern church in Germany, built by Dominikus Boehm from local sandstone. The ceiling was made from coarse wooden planks, twisted against each other – the interior was very simple. I was always looking around and not really consciously aware of the influence. Later I noticed that this church appears in my mind again and again. And I think that’s why I became an architect. ➡︎
✖︎ Antivilla / Brandlhuber+