Part 2 - Architecture: Modern Architecture in Freiburg im Breisgau | Germany

High key & low key - or in other words: Strong urban contrasts, defined by harsh midday sunlight and shadows. I could have photographed this architecture as everyone: Wait for the golden hour and sunset, to make everything shine beautifully. But I thought that this building deserves a different approach. The grey, harsh - almost uninviting - brutalist and minimalist front of the building had to be captured that way, to maintain its original character and to underline the strong rectangle shapes competing with soft circular shapes of the roof and sculptures in front of it. Capturing strong light beams and harsh shadows were then my obvious choice for this building. Of course, I wanted to separate myself photographically from the majority of photographs taken there.

The building itself, is the Konzerthaus (concert hall) of Freiburg. It has been built and designed by architect Dietrich Bangert was opened to the public in 1996. Since then, the building is used for concerts and performances, as well as conventions and meetings. Under the working title "Cultural Event and Conference Location" ('Kultur- und Tagungstätte,' KTS), it was one of the most controversial building projects in Freiburg since the end of World War II, due to opposing opinions between the government and the general public. Until 2016, it will serve as the headquarters of the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra. With its multi-use great hall, it serves as a venue for a range of diverse events.

Architecture: Modern Architecture in Freiburg im Breisgau | Germany

Neues Rathaus im Stühlinger | New city hall in Stühlinger

The new city hall has been under construction for three years. In November 2017, the employees of 16 smaller town halls were able to move in and started operation. The architects has been built and designed by the German company Ingenhoven Architects, based out of Dusseldorf, Germany.

The moment I arrived, I was immediately stunned by its simplistic shape, with clear lines, blocks in conjunction to create a circular harmony of a building. Stunning is as well the contrasts between reflective glass surfaces, solid metal, natural wood and solar panels, existing in harmony with nature - the city’s big reputation of the most environmental city in Germany. Hence, it’s not surprising at all to find masses of bicycles parked in front of the office complex.

The most important technical feature of this building is - as you might have guessed - the solar panels, which produce more electric power through regenerative and environment-friendly than the building needs for heating, air-conditioning and lighting. That way the building sustains itself and is probably one of its kind in that size within Freiburg.