Kiel Fragments

I got the idea for this project while on a road trip across the eastern parts of Germany. At the time, I was taking a lot of photos of East German architecture, most of it sitting at lofty heights. This led to a constant struggle with perspective - the converging lines of the vertical vanishing points made it hard to arrive at anything visually pleasing, and I kept thinking I should just isolate the interesting parts to make them float in mid-air.

Back home, I did a few tests and was pleased with the results. On a sunny October morning, I drove to Kiel, my city of birth, and searched the downtown area for prominent buildings. Kiel is actually full of interesting architecture, so after just a few hours I already had a ton of suitable pictures.

I narrowed them down to nine photos and started isolating the interesting parts. Cutting out part of a large building requires reconstructing the missing third dimension - most of all the underside, if you aimed your camera up.

These are the results:
Opera House / Theatre
In reality, this is just a big black glass cube, part of the larger concert hall. It would look kind of cool, if it wasn’t for all the bird shit it seems to attract. By adding the colored parts, I tried to give it a less heavyset appearance, more like a piece of jewelry, or a giant tiffany lamp.

Hotel Astor
This hotel was built in the 50s, and as far as I can remember, it has always looked the same. While contemporary hotels have popped up all around it, this one still stands its ground and oozes retro style. The rooftop bar used to be a popular spot, but not sure if it’s still in operation. I really love the typography - big letters like these are rarely used anymore in outdoor advertising. Let’s hope they won’t modernize the exterior of this one any time soon.
Q-Park Parking Garage
Located right in the middle of downtown, this parking garage attracted me with its geometric tiles.
Happy accident: while trying to rebuilt the vertical sign that in reality reads “PARKHAUS” (German for parking garage), a missing font caused all letters to display as white squares, which turned out to look kinda neat, so I left it that way.

Max-Rubner-Institute
A nice example of brutalist architecture, and home of the Max-Rubner-Institute, which after googling turned out to be a government agency dealing with “consumer health protection in the nutrition sector”. Who knew they’d be hiding inside a rough concrete slab. Fun fact: the moon was really out that morning, but I had to add the clouds.
Kiel Castle
The Kiel Castle is a constant source of disappointment for unsuspecting tourists, because it doesn’t look much like a castle at all. These days, it’s being used for cultural events of all kinds. I picked one of the entrance areas for this image, which usually rests on a grid of columns.
Castle Square Condos
Right next to the so-called castle is this fairly new building with expensive (I’m assuming) apartments. This one proved to be tricky - for some reason, the photo part (the top two units) didn’t seem to match my virtual camera. I went back there another day and took more measurements. Turns out these condos are actually not the parallel boxes I mistook them for, but slightly tapered at different sides. What kind of evil architect would do such a thing...
Schwedenkai
This building usually sits on top of the StenaLine terminal, where passengers embark on the Gothenburg-bound ferries. It’s slanted by design, but doesn’t have the stepped part on the left. I also removed the text next to the "Port of Kiel" rooftop logo, thinking it might add a bit of mystery to have it by itself.
Turret
This isn’t really part of a prominent building, just your average apartment house, but one of the corners sported this cute turret, and I felt the need to include something round. I only reconstructed the underside, and whatever would be visible of the back half, which in reality is obscured by the main building. Fun fact: there is a steak house below, making this the perfect home for carnivorous tenants.
University Church
I wasn’t sure to include this one, because this church already looks very "rendered" without any manipulation.
But I couldn't resist to give it a gap and make it look even more futuristic. Hard to believe this was built 55 years ago.
Raw Material