_ Model 1 | Ulrike Grossarth

Model 1

‘GroßDruckBelastungskörper’ (HighPressureLoadBody)

With my pictorial work began the delving into prevailing modes of perception, the intellectual, unconscious and mental foundations of our culture. My interest in historical processes also came to the fore. The cityscape of Berlin, which in 1987 was still impressively marked by these interactions, contributed to this.

On my expeditions through the city I came upon the GroßDruckBelastungskörper (HighPressureLoadBody), a relict of plans to redesign Berlin, the former capital of the “Third Reich”. This structure was built in 1941 in the vicinity of the Kolonnenbrücke, where it still stands today. As a natural scale experiment, it simulated the weight of a buttress of “Bauwerk T” (the triumphal arch) to test the weight-bearing capacity of marly soil layers. The structure weighs 12.500 tonnes and is cast in massive concrete, except for the central measuring compartments. Its function is to exert a load. It is a pure weight which soil mechanics call “dead load”.