Several million nails, hammered into the black asphalt surrounding the building, form an irregular grid of shiny silver dots and mark the site of countless stations of escape and suffering.
Used on the property of the Foundation “Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation”, the nail is both a form and an expression of commemoration and remembrance:
Each individual nail is like a marker of a stage, a flight between the starting point and the end point. The nail heads are a condensation of individual routes without the lines connecting the points. A dense web of intersecting or juxtaposed paths. The nail inscribes individual and collective history into the ground at this site. Each nail is shot individually into the ground, a martial act that records an uncountable sum of individual fates and painful experiences. Millions of nails thus symbolize the non-representability, intangibility, non-countability and non-representability of the experience of flight and displacement.
The pavement of the open space consists of mastic asphalt. The dark asphalt corresponds with the basalt base of the building. The entire area can be walked on and partially driven over. Silvery shimmering stainless steel nails with a head diameter of approx. 7 mm are nailed to the entire open space. The density of the nailing increases towards the building. This creates a coherent space around the building that is perceived as a unit.
The number and design of the open space furniture are reduced to the absolutely necessary in order to give the ground area maximum space. In the southern area on Anhalterstraße, a 10 m long bench invites people to sit and linger. The surface of the bench is made of polished, dark lightweight concrete.
Project: Stiftung Flucht, Vertreibung, Versöhnung (Foundation Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation)
ANNABAU Architektur und Landschaft with Via Lewandowsky
Interdisciplinary restricted competition for landscape architects and artists: 1st prize
Area: 1.700 square meters
Commissioning: Open space phases 2-9, art on site
Client: Federal Agency for Real Estate (BImA) represented by the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR)
Photos: © Hanns Joosten, ANNABAU
Project category: Public place, memorial
Location: Stresemannstraße 90, 10963 Berlin, Germany
Design year: 2013
Year Completed: 2020