Caged beasts

The trendiest place in D├╝sseldorf is Medienhafen: modern and exciting architecture has displaced the original harbor here to the background of the city. The Frank Gehry buildings in particular are impressive. But that hidden background of this city may be even more exciting.

A footbridge just behind the Rheinturm leads to a path that is a dividing line between two worlds. On the left are the yards of steel companies, storage sheds and other port companies. To the right of the path are green floodplains and beaches along the river. Here, the connection of the Medienhafen with the original port area is no longer perceptible. The Medienhafen has actually turned its back on its own background: the modern, shiny buildings of Gehry seem to play a role in camouflaging the rusted harbor. But it are the atmospheric contrasts between modern architecture and public places, the industrial harbor architecture with its closed grounds and the nature around which make this area so interesting.

The path continues until a public road to the left: Hamburgerstra├če. The area here is set up as a zoo, for large steel animals. The active animals move coal and containers through the air as if they were their prey. They are so high that you can only look up to it. Their movement is slow and heavy. They are not trying to escape, which is regrettable. What if they were released and could move through the city?

The sleeping animals, nocturnal animals perhaps, lie on grassy fields. The gates around it make it impossible to approach them. The distance between the viewer and the beast is maintained by those fences, which only increases the attractive power of those beasts.