Allard Roeterink

Breathing Braunschweig

In 2004 the German city of Braunschweig was aiming at becoming the European Capital of 2010. Tokyo collective Ball, Femke and me entered the international ideas competition and were invited for a final one-week pitch.
Our idea focused on a grid of large breathing balloons above the cityscape. Each balloon is located at a cultural event; the size of the balloon indicates the number of attending people. The balloon poles double as panorama interfaces to get an overview of the city and its events. It also tracks the registered nearby visitors and produces all sorts of time-location diagrams.
The jury, which included Dominique Perrault and Robert Venturi, chose Breathing Braunschweig as one of the two winners. If Braunschweig had become the Cultural Capital in 2010, the balloon towers might have been realised…