Describing Architecture

Final ImageDA13-CO-8_628DA13-CO-1_785

WOLFSBURG / David Flynn


Digital Print

I recently travelled to Wolfsburg, Germany and was struck by the scale and presence of Volkswagen’s first factory, built in 1939 as a birthplace for the Beetle. Separated from the new factory-town by a busy canal and multiple railway lines, the building appears to be an expression of the company’s historical role in respect of the town and its workers. More recently its relationship to the town has been moderated by Zaha Hadid’s Phaeno Science Centre, from which this view was taken. This factory is fascinating as it can be seen as a dry Engineering exercise but also as inescapably emotive Architecture. I am unable to find the name of a designer for it and I am curious to know how the design was first presented to its client.

The medium most often used to describe this type of industrial and infrastructural landscape is abstract functional-diagrammatic engineering drawings which fail to give a sense of scale or character. These things form part of our visual world yet are rarely described with Architectural drawings that might simply but more closely hint at their real-world presence.



1    Digital Print

2    Exhibit

3    Exhibit in context