Terry Gilliam's Brazil and I want to leave as fast as possible. I've also lived in apartments on par with the DMV. Light enters the living room, hits a wall and never makes its way to the bedroom. Those places felt more like caves than homes, yet I appreciated them, too.
The Accordion reCover Shelter by Yanko Design, seen at left, is one such accordion structure designed for emergencies. Its designers claim the folds can be used to collect water, and it can be set up easily by one person. The bottom photo (I know it's small) shows that two adults may stand side-by-side in the center of the structure. Personally, I'd rather learn to erect a tipi and keep its parts in my garage or yard than try to live in the reCover Shelter. How are you supposed to cook in that thing? Temporarily, I know. But you'll notice any storage space in its flanks will quickly occupy the living and sleeping space and there are no vestibules for your gear. I know, I know.. it's an emergency shelter. Like a 72-hour thing. But still. I think it could be improved.
This building belongs to the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen. Many accordionists will recognize Trossingen as the home and birthplace of Hohner accordions. Hohner is still there and so is its legacy. What not a better place for a music school than Trossingen? The Hochschule Trossingen contributes to local arts, music and culture through outreach programs and international pedagogy. Its teaching focuses on practical experience and offers lectures, workshops, and symposia. I really like this building. It may only be my imagination, but when I see this music school located in the accordion heartland of Germany, I am driven to interpret accordion components in its architecture. The vertical and horizontal bars covering the corner window look like rods from the bass action in a large accordion. The windows on the ground floor look like the uniform apertures in a slide mechanism, opening to reed chambers. The large squarish window in the side of the building reminds me of a reed plate, and the color of the building has the look of an accordion's aluminum faceplate. If there were shutters, I'm sure I'd think they look like pallets, too. I have never visited Trossingen but from looking at photos of this building, my only negative criticism of the structure is that it clashes dramatically with the traditional German architecture surrounding it. Is it appropriate? I've always thought that the accordion seems antiquated in the age of information, a little out of place. There's hardly anything fast or sexy about an accordion. It can't send text messages and it doesn't get very many likes on Facebook. So in my opinion, although this building's style interferes with that of its neighbors, at least it's doing so in a way that s obtusely consistent with local history. In Trossingen, it seems, the past is meeting the present right down to the very architecture. And that, I think, is a wonderful metaphor.