© 2019 Choi+Shine Architects

The Berlin

Invited Entry for FESTIVAL OF LIGHT 2019 LIGHTS OF FREEDOM

This project is inspired by the city of Berlin, which rose to become one of the most influential European cultural capitals after the long endured physical manifestation of divided worlds. The project aims to capture the resilience and underlying power of this place with a diaphanous lace in dynamic form, glowing mysteriously while embracing and engaging its residents and visitors. Generally, lace is small in scale, and often private, used as an embellishment for a special celebration. Shown in a large scale in a public place, this lace creates a sense of surprise which contributes to the memory of the space. The glowing lace in unusual scale meanders to form a wall or a room, then a wing to free itself in the flight to future celebrating the city of Berlin.


Berlin! is a super-scaled 180m long x 2.4m tall hand crocheted artwork installed as a series in Savignyplatz, Bahnhof Zoo and Ostbahnhof train stations. The repetition of the series of work emphasizes the physical and symbolic enormity of the wall that divided the city. The meandering shape variations are created during installation by adjusting the secondary suspension line lengths when fastened to the internal, flexible structure.


Each segment of Berlin! responds to the specifics of the site: The segment at Savignyplatz takes a form of a long and linear vertical wall along the central axis of the alley, suspended at about knee height beneath a rigging line. Intentionally dividing visitors onto each side of the lace wall creates a tension and compresses the already narrow passage of the site. This tension is released when the end of the wall is near: the wall twists and arches then lifts itself to the sky, leaving the ground free.

 At Bahnhof Zoo and Ostbahnhof stations, the lace embraces viewers with the curvilinear wall that creates a space within. When visitors occupy the space, it creates an interesting theatrical relationship between the seers and the seen. People generally see themselves as viewers, unaware that the are equally being staged and becoming integral part of the artwork when seen through the wall. This dichotomy of observer and the staged simultaneously co-exist until the lace takes off from the ground. The wall twists and arches to create a dynamic movement of the wing with its tip pointing up to the sky in a symbolic gesture of freedom.

If you would like to participate

in our future crochet projects,

please send us an email to:

 skim [at] choishine.com

The design and images of The Berlin are copyright 2019, Choi+Shine Architects and may not be used without written permission.

The images and design  copyright 2019-2021  Choi+Shine Architects, LLC.  All rights reserved. 


Contact:  Choi+Shine Architects for written permission for image use.