Here Today – Gone Tomorrow
The Art Cloud is a concept for a place characterised by separation and division that exists in the here and now but breathes the identities of times past. The location was once the site of the Berlin Palace, which was torn down in 1962 by the East German authorities and replaced by the Palast der Republik. This was in turn demolished in 2005. With no consensus on what to build in its place or how to finance it, a void was left in the heart of the German capital.
To fill this void, GRAFT proposed an art haven for the young and vibrant art scene in Berlin that at the time lacked any form of platform in the city. The art haven was to take the form of an Art Cloud, a temporary, lightweight structure containing an exhibition space that appears to float as if resting momentarily at that spot over a topography of undulating mounds.
Rather than being superimposed on the previous historical site, it fills the transitional state between ‘what was’ and ‘what will be’. This soft and ephemeral shape occupies an urban setting previously dominated by massive and almost brutal urban volumes. The cloud acts as a new pivotal point for the Museums Island, deftly negotiating the inflexible rules for Berlin’s city blocks, its height lines and nostalgic notions of the past with its soft, mesmerising silhouette. The history of human endeavour is transcended in a fluid design that defies the constraints of time and refuses to linger.