Residential house, Wunstorfer Straße

Random Houses

August 3, 2017

by — Posted in architecture, shot on film

In terms of architectural photography, the winter season appears to be my most productive period. Several reasons are responsible for that: the weather often provides days with a dull, grey sky (which I strongly prefer); the trees have lost their leaves (and thus are not blocking the sight) and there hardly any people outside (at least not for just being outside).

I took the images of this post around March and April. Each of the depicted buildings is located in Hanover; you can find most of them close to the city center. They differ in their age, size and purpose. In being not restricted to a special type of building (or capturing only “beautiful” houses), I try to draw a more complex picture of the city. However, I’m definitely opportunistic in the choice of my subjects: corner houses work best as they are placed more prominent than their in-street counterparts. And you have more space at a crossroads to find a suitable camera location.

Normally, I choose Sunday mornings for these kind of photo tours. The streets are empty then and I don’t have to care about the traffic (that doesn’t mean I want to take the photos standing in the middle of the street but I easily get shot without cars passing through). I leave home around eight o’clock, heading for the subway station. After some minutes, I continue my trip on foot, walking randomly through the streets. If there is something I like, I just stop and set-up my tripod. It takes me roughly two hours to finish the 36 exposures of one film. Fog is a special gift that occurs occasionally during the first hours after sunrise. Sometimes, the sun breaks through the clouds and fog, prematurely terminating my trip. However, on way home l’m greatly looking forward to have breakfast.

All images shown were shot on Fuji Acros 100 35mm film.

Residental house, Theodorstraße / Am Taubenfelde. A typical and unpretentious building from the post-war era.
“Ihme-Zentrum” housing complex and formerly also a shopping center. The complex was built in the early 1970’s and has been controversial since its first days. The office high-rise visible to left is Hanover’s tallest building.
“Ihme-Zentrum” housing complex, seen from Spinnereistraße. The area has slowly went into decline around the year 2000. Today, all shops in the arcade have vanished and passages are barricaded due to dilapidation. The city government is looking desperately for investors; Ihme-Zentrum’s future remains uncertain.
Villa Simon, Brühlstraße. It was built for the Jewish lawyer Eduard Simon in 1858. Used as a “Judenhaus” in Nazi Germany, Jews were forced to live there. Today, Villa Simon houses a department of the university. I think the mansion deserves a renovation as nets have to secure façade and balconies.
Ministry for Science and Education, Leibnizufer. The eight-story high-rise was originally erected as headquarter for the mining company Preussag. With a concrete skeleton and window frames made of aluminum, the building was considered as state-of-the-art at the time of its creation (1953).
Spittahaus, Burgstraße / Ballhofplatz. The house belongs to Hanover’s oldest existing buildings (erected 1669). Spittahaus is located in the historic district, which was almost completely destroyed by airstrikes during World War II.
Factory building, Kopernikusstraße. It is the parent plant of German automotive company Continental. The image shows the location’s rear side, which is significantly less representative constructed than the front side.
Reformed church, Archivstraße. The church originally possessed a spire, which was lost in an airstrike at war.
Residential house, Brandstraße / Mittelstraße. To my knowledge the only house in central Hanover that is faced with wooden boards.
Authority building, Am Schützenplatz. If I had taken the photo on color film, the façade would look grey, too.
Brandstraße.
Office building, Vahrenwalder Straße / Sahlkamp. This defiant house from the 1970’s (?) always reminds me of a warship.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz library, Am Schützenplatz / Waterloostraße. This scientific library hosts manuscripts from the medieval age as well as the Nachlass of Gottfried Leibniz, the famous polymath.
Residential house, Wunstorfer Straße. A rather unpretentious brick building stemming from the era of the Hanover school of architecture. The house makes an dilapidated impression and seems to be abandoned.
Residential house, Wunstorfer Straße. Also a product of the Hanover school of architecture – in contrast to the house shown above, this one exhibits more decoration elements.
Bundeswehr office building, Vahrenwalder Straße / Alter Flughafen. At times when military service was mandatory for young men, one had to visit this building for medical examination. In 2002, I had to go there myself. I remember the examining physician talking so low-voiced that I could hardly understand his orders. In the end I was declared fit, but objected the service.
Office building, Augustenstraße. The building is connected to the historic courthouse by a pedestrian bridge (visible at the left edge).
Sprengel Museum, Rudolf-von-Bennigsen-Ufer. The Museum of Modern Art’s newest building opened in 2015. The building’s design divided the minds of the public, some even referred to the house as “concrete coffin” similar to the “sarcophagus” in Chernobyl. Personally, I consider it as a well-made piece of modern architecture.
Department store, Kröpcke square. It was erected in 1952, originally named “Kaufhaus Magis”. Rail tracks in front of the house disappeared after the tram was transfered underground in the 1970’s.

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