08.2020 – 2. SEMESTER

The Continental-Gelände (known fondly as the “Conti-Gelände” by Hannoverans) was a rubber factory which started production in 1899. 100 years later, production was halted and the building complex was abandoned. In 2018, a building wing was demolished in order for the construction of the new Wasserstadt to begin − a housing development about 150m away from the ruin. Although the surviving building is denkmalgeschützt (protected for its historical / architectural value) discussions were underway for it to be completely wiped off. Happily, future developments include the restauration of the remaining buildings.

Had the entire demolition been approved, only the renovated “Conti-Turm” (tower) were to remain, as an orphan of the past. A dreary reminder which would be better off torn down too, for its presence, once a prelude to another time and space, would have been reduced to a useless keepsake. Still, the spatial and atmospheric qualities of the place will soon be drastically different, and so a catalyst for contemplation, reflection, imagination, curiosity, enlightenment and nostalgia will gradually disappear. For the time being, that is; for every building that comes into being is nothing but a ruin in development.

Funny how decisions made in the name of Reason are often the most unreasonable.