After a remarkable first evening with circumstance, yesterday started a bit dulled. As often is the case in the aftermath of various single malts. But nothing, a good, old English breakfast can’t fix. So we were all ready and geared up for Berlin proper. Tell you, it’s a jungle out there….
Since we both are book-freaks plus amazon has run out of the last David Bowie album, Kulturkaufhaus Dussmann was our destination. I also always was wanting to look at their vertical garden, installed January 2012 by Patrick Blanc.
The French botanist works in Paris for the “Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique”, where he invented vertical gardens as early as 1968. Since then, he designed many internationally acclaimed vertical jungles, he calls them “Mur Végétal”. The one in Berlin measures 270 m². To spell this out: it is 18 meters high and 15 meters wide, set behind the café located at the souterrain and running up a few floors of this massive bookstore on Friedrichstraße. It is quite a sight.
But also odd, to look at lush nature as if at the zoo. Barred in and contained.
Patrick Blanc used 157 different species on this wall, in total 6.572 specimen were planted on the display, that seemingly works without any soil at all. The plants have their roots in little pockets cut in special water storing fabric. At the base of the wall is a pool of water, containing 16.200 litres of water, which is circulated through the wall. I have to say, finally seeing this extraordinary exhibition of indoor gardening was very impressive. Especially on a gray winter’s day. And I did get the Blackstar CD as well as the Next special edition box at the store. Accompanied by six or so books out of their English bookstore. I ran riot, as I haven’t been to a proper bookstore in such a long time. This adventure was followed by watching the Star Wars movie in 3D at the Sony Center and a sushi dinner at Kuchi in Kantstraße. Take away style, eaten at home, as there was a minimum wait of an hour, to get a table. We weren’t up to this wait after a day spent exploring steep jungles, the vast expanse of literature and far away galaxies…