A small exposition concerning a big building.
In spring 2007, the Project bluebox was cut in by a maintenance break and the relaunch took place on April 14th. During this time, the bluebox team finished the "bluebox glassbox"..
With the permission of the DGAG we remodeled and cleaned the little glassy room just under the first floor and decorated it as a showroom. Henceforth, one can not just enjoy the blinking house but also get information on the project, the technique, the history of the "Blauer Bock" and see some interesting leftovers of the GDR we found in the rooms above. For all the people who can not enjoy the project live, we have got pictures and some written stuff here:
With the bluebox project an abandoned building made with precast concrete slabs in the centre of Magdeburg was metamorphosed into an interactive computer display. Each of the 686 windows became by means of a foil and an usual halogen reflector lamp a part of huge computerised screen. Consequently, pictures and animation can be shown at the front of the building. The several windows can not only be switched on and off but also vary in 127 different grey scales.
Furthermore, Games such as Pong, Pacman und Symmetris (kind of Tetris) can be played via mobile phones. The Games are controllable by the keys on a phone. Also sent in animation can be started by a code the sender got.
The building - past, present and future?
The building, named "Blauer Bock", concerning its blue tiles, has been built in 1967 as a construction of large prefabricated concrete slabs2. Shortly after the German Reunification, all inhabitants started to move out during 1990. Since then, the building has made one headline back-to-back.
In former days, the principal office of the textile wholesaler Heinrich Mittag was located at that place where the „Blauer Bock“ has been put up in the late sixties. The old factory was actually part of the „Breiter Weg“, bacause at this time, the „Ernst-Reuter-Allee“ was just a small alley as wide as the pavement in front of the building today.
The family Heinrich Mittag was factory owner until the postwar period, but in the late forties the family moved to Hannover. Heinrich Mittag’s son Adolf worked for the collective good; The Adolf-Mittag-See, a lake located in the municipal park still reminds by its name of this family.
Since the movements in 1990, some homeless persons settled down into the vacant apartments and 1992 the last inhabitants left the building. In the end, only the few shops are still in use. In the same year, the building surveyor's office checked the construction level, because the municipal administration should be placed there. Provision was made for 6000 square metres by adapting the 320 bedsit. However, in 1993 the local newspaper called "Volksstimme" -- available for 80 Pennies -- reported that the 13 million marks investment plan had been cancelled without any substitution in favour of different other expenditures.
Instead of the municipal investment, the building was going to be sold to the banker Günter Follmer for 10 millionen marks. The general partnership Heinrich Mittag, that tried to get back the attractive location since the reunification, opposed, but his objection had been rejected in 1994. Shortly before the bargain got valid, Follmer died in summer 1995 and his heirs are not interested in the building. Thereupon, the Magdeburg’s administration negotiated directly with the general partnerschip Heinrich Mittag, that was going to build a "representative building which gives an example for Magdeburg".
In the early nineties, a banking company called Löbbecke & Co. moved into a rebuilt and reorganised part of the building on the first floor which reached from the very right over the length of nine apartments. The shop underneath became a counter area. Apart from that nothing significant happened.
In summer 1996, - the price of the newspaper has risen up to one mark -- the artist Sabrina Hohmann showcased a project, in which context 280 chairs of people from Magdeburg were hanging out of the front windows via steel cables for 14 days. It should symbolised occupation, assembling or dealing with something. In the same article, the newspaper reported on a major project which included the parking space behind the building and a connection between the buildings, but Karstadt retired from this project at the beginning of the year 1999.
In 1999 -- the Volksstimme costs 1,20 marks, now -- Büll and Dr. Liedtke (B&L Immobilien AG) and the Stadtsparkasse became owner of the building and the B&L Immobilien AG has renamed as DGAG Deutsche Grundvermögen AG. Meanwhile, 95% of the shares belong to the subsidiary company of the Italian conglomerate called Pirelli. In December 2004, the members of the Magdeburger Club got admission for the first time to initiate the first project since the founding. On the 6th December that is called "Nikolaustag" in Germany, the Club starts up a huge Advent calendar on the front of the building. By lighting up different windows, the date of the day got visible in the evening hours.
Since December 1st of the year 2006 the installation "bluebox" is placed in the building and transforms its front into a great computer-controlled display. Unfortunately, the building is listed for demolition in the fourth quarter of 2007.
The last question is: What happens, when the "Blauer Bock" is gobe? Due to the fact that a picture explains more than 1000 words, the DGAG allowed us to use this one out of their concept study. Maybe, the new building is going to be highlighted by blue spotlights in memory of the old buck?
* A lot of information derive from copies of the Volksstimme that are deposited in the city archive of Magdeburg. The pricemarks are only informative.
Why? Because it works.
And wherefore? To proof that it works!
When a palm full of volunteers are up to realise a project often the appreciation is scrutinized. The answer is simple: We just try to improve the world a little bit./p>
We had an idea, looked for and found sponsors and got a project with good publicity going. Our aim is to use the attention to get more contributions to support further charitable projects in the range of youth and culture. Thus, the variety of activities shall be expanded and others have the opportunity to realise their ideas.
We want to proof that there is always a possibility to make a difference, when one just believe and wants to work. We would like to encourage others stand up and improve. Certainly, there are many things to moan about, but if nobody is going to do something, who should anything gets better? The beginning is always stony, but the fun, the first success and the knowledge of doing a good deed compensates everything.
We wish to motivate some people to get in action and not always just sitting in front of the television.
Adopt a window of the bluebox
Since the beginning everybody can be become a "godparent" of one or more of the 686 windows. With just 10 Euro everybody can support the Magdeburger Club. The raised money will flow into public welfare as soon as each window found its sponsor.
If you like to "adopt" one or more windows, please send an email to fensterpate 'at' magdeburgerclub.de. containing your name, your address and your preferred window-text To choose a window click [here] and state the exact designation of the window(s) in your email as well. You will find the name written inside the windows, which are still available. Subsequently you will receive a confirmation email in which we confirm your sponsorship and provide the bank account details for transferring the money. As soon as we received your donation, we can send you a receipt and deed of donation if you wish. Thanks you ever so much for your support!
Pictures: Sascha Ludwig, Wolf Brüning, Stephan Kambor
Exposition/Texts: Juliane Pilster, Stephan Kambor