Founding dean of the Department of Design at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences
Michael Nguyen dedicates a photo series to the true masterpiece of facade art by the architecture firm Sauerbruch Hutton. The Photo Artist from Munich shows the spectacular facade of the building: the Munich Re in Munich at Berliner Straße. Visual highlights of the urban have emerged here, the details of which Nguyen examines with precision photography.
Facades are not the faces of buildings, even if we like this metaphor, and the term itself goes back to the Italian "faccia" and the Latin "facies" (face). Almost inextricably linked to their support, building envelopes are usually far too little dynamically linked to the typicity, diversity, and liveliness of the building's interior to communicate this to the outside like a face.
Stacked gold ingots seem to frame the Munich Re. In Nguyen's angled view of a section of the facade, the differently gold-colored cuboids - contrasted by regular geometric black residual forms - appear charged with their power and at the same time recall works of constructivist pictorial art from the early 20th century. Security, stability, and dynamics are associations that correspond to the claim of an insurance company. Since they are staged here as a work of art, they also refer to the promise of not only pursuing monetary goals with the insurance business but also of contributing to the culture of our society.
In the front view, the second picture of Munich Re, we are sent in search of the real spatial relationships between the gold ashlars with an alternation of extremely regular, horizontal parallels of blinds suspended on verticals and mirrored spatial width into the sky blue: grandiose orthogonal facade masquerade out of geometric perfection.
The picture of the red-framed glass fronts is completely different, in which the reflections of the unfoliaged surrounding trees form a poetic contrast to the austerity and perfection of the geometric. Here the masking lives from the mirrored nature, well captured and seemingly dominated in the segments of the glass surfaces. The bordering signal red underlines the will to culture with a visual bang.
Color gradients from yellow to green to blue are also the theme of another photo of Munich Re. Introduced by a homogeneous blue behind grey horizontal blinds, mediated by a coarser grid of pale blue glass surfaces, a lively melody of numerous hues unfolds.
Prof. Dr. Rainer Funke
In 1992, Rainer Funke was appointed to Potsdam as the founding dean of the Department of Design at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences. He researches and publishes on design-theoretical issues from a semiotic, cultural-theoretical and philosophical perspective and works as a design consultant for companies. He teaches design theory at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences. After studying philosophy at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, he earned his doctorate in semiotics and subsequently worked in design-theoretical research at Burg Giebichenstein - University of Art and Design Halle. Rainer Funke was the owner of a design agency, chairman of the board of the Brandenburg Design Center, and visiting professor at the University of Art and Industrial Design Linz.
He is a multi award winning photo artist and documentary photographer living near Munich, Germany. He is a “publicity shy” (Merkur daily newspaper Munich) photo artist, a photographic poet who moves away from the mainstream, at the same time blurs genres. "Most of the photos could only be taken because Nguyen has a special eye for his surroundings and gives even the mundane a second view." (Süddeutsche Zeitung) In his photography he focuses on architectural details and urban landscapes.
They are an international architecture, urban planning and design practice in Berlin, founded in 1989 by Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch in London and now based in Berlin.