Tuesday we got up to catch a two hour train to Dresden. In the morning we visited Coop Himmelbau's UFA Cinema center and Behnisch's Grammar School and then spent the afternoon at Theater platz grand city center. Coop Himmelbau's cinema was one of his earlier projects, which justified the lack of detail development. The design was created before there were advanced computer programs to generate complex forms and connections. The form was very angular made with steel and glass. I took some pictures of the strange connections for lessons on what not to do. There were many unresolved intersections and most of the steel seemed overscaled for the space.
Then we headed to Behnisch's Grammar School. I enjoyed this building because there were some interesting gathering spaces created around the stairwells. Circulation was the main component that added more quality to the building where natural light flooded into the spaces. The school also had an interesting roof terrace that included green space for an outdoor classroom, the glass top of the stairwell core, and solar panels.
We all went to have lunch together at a shnitzel place. It was the first time we all sat down and ate lunch together as a class. The food was great. After finishing up lunch we headed to the Theater platz. As we were passing by plazas that were surrounded with opera houses, churches, palaces, and museums I was convienced that these Baroque style buildings were really old. The heavy masonry facade's weathering revealed an aging. Soon after we started our tour of the Opera House, we learned that these buildings were shortly over 20 years old. I was extremely disappointed, but impressed because they fooled me. The exterior facade was made with a local material, sand stone, that turned black overtime; making the building to appear older than it really is. Most of the interior materials were rendered as paintings. Instead of actually applying a material, they painted the texture of wood, marble, stone, and gold onto the wall. The quality of the craft was impressive. I don't know if you could consider this to be similar to Shinkel's use of trompe l'oeil (French for 'trick the eye') which is a technique used to create an optical illusion (wikapedia). The German's really enjoy this style of painted materials for their baroque interiors. It is actually more expensive to have these materials rendered as a painting than using the actual material. Although they are mostly used for aesthetics, the wood texture was painted on clay for fire prevention. I find the use of paintings rather than authentic materials to be disappointing, but I admire the craftsmanship.