The ICC Berlin is a Gesamtkunstwerk, a giant time capsule that has been waiting for a new usage concept for almost a decade. Planned in the 1960s and opened in 1979, the exhibition building—designed by Ursulina Schüler-Witte and Ralf Schüler, and encompassing Frank Oehring’s incomparable wayfinding system—remains an attentiongrabbing structure. While the building’s brutalist exterior overwhelms the viewer, its interior conveys an air of calm, offering a view of the suddenly quieted traffic through its panoramic windows.
This volume of photographs by Zara Pfeifer is dedicated to documenting the interior of the building. Taking an unsentimental approach, Pfeifer records the largely unchanged inner appearance of the building that has been variously dubbed the Giant of Witzleben, the Battleship Charlottenburg, or the Hall of Megalomania. Her images develop a sense for the building’s noteworthy elements and capture the liminal condition in which it has been suspended for years.
With a text by Florian Heilmeyer