Lukas Raeber
Three abstracted greenhouses

Three site-specific interventions encourage vegetation on the site of a former primary school in Cologne’s Volkhoven. A section of the Ludwig Museum that was once built on site, made in order to carry out light, space and material studies for the planned museum, served as inspiration in the process. In reference to that built fragment, three miniature greenhouses have been placed in critical positions on the site. Through the deliberate direction of natural light these structures were intended to encourage the growth of existing plants on the terrain vague and also be catalysts in creating additional habitat for insects.
The starting point and basic material for the greenhouses came from panes of glass, pieces of metal and simple building materials that had been abandoned or had been left there, unused. These were used as objets trouvés. Like the Simultanhalle (as the built fragment is called today), new elements were added in an experimental manner and left to the mercy of the place and nature. They were to be absorbed into the new order of animals and plants. Objects emerged that teetered in the uncertain space between accident and design. Thus, for example, the metal floor grill can be used as an animal shelter, as a trellis for plants, or as shade. When focused, the glass panes store heat and accelerate plant growth. In various constellations, the different greenhouses possess inherent structural equilibrium and form an equilibrium with their surroundings. This balance will, with time, be inhabited by flora and fauna and become part of that environment.

Exhibition at the Simultanhalle Cologne curated by Karsten Födinger 2017.