i did not have much relation to that building. i never visited an event in there, not even recognized it, when it was still in service. since my kids start to go to a school nearby, we cycle by nearly every day, but than it is already unused, an empty shell. the longer it stays empty the more obviuos it will not last much longer (though i not really follow the decision-making about its fait). so it should not have been a suprise, when there one day is a fence around the hall and diggers appeare. i love to draw diggers, and while doing so i think, i might draw the whole process of demolition.
the outer buildings are quickly crunched but than not much seems to happen, a bit of peeling and sorting away the turret, but my drawings are sometimes more about the hall as it always appeared to me, presumably location of grande celebration at night in its gone good times - zappa, hendrix, berliner eisbären etc performing - on everyday and now a huge box on parking ground. i like its brash design, an 50ties interpretation of its original pre-war classicistic (fascist) appearance. this pragmatic approach, reuse of a hall with removement of its corrupted symbolic exaggeration, this process of unsentimental adaption, has my sympathy.
the big lettering is removed by climbers - '......HLANDHALLE' when i leave - last act of cleaning before the blast. there is a bit of attention in press on occasion of that sensational event, but the boom itself is decent and casual as the whole process of demolition: the roof collapses exactly as planned and falls inside the unharmed facade ring. aside from the vanished turret the outer appearance is unchanged. only at one backside diggers crunch a gap and rumour inside.
in janurary the diggers start to scratch of the facade, so one can spot the inner emptyness through the few meters wide concrete grid, that used to be siderooms and infrastructure. the visual most spectacular batch, the caving of this structure, happens under icecold blue sky, sketched only unsufficently due to hostile climate conditions...
with upcoming spring there is only rubble left, that is sorted for recycling and carried away by dump trucks. dirt falls of and is washed away by a small street sweeper. view complete set of sketches on flickr or set of posts on berlin.USk.
On the flag: Johannesburg sketcher Cathy Gatland sketching outside Kippies Jazz Club in Newtown.
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