Tower: Instant Structure for Schacht XII, 2013

Site specific
Commission
Urbane Künste Ruhr, RuhrTriennale

Known for their experimental installations that explore natural phenomena, London based studio Random International have created a monumental, performative structure at World Heritage Zollverein using its plentiful, native material: water (6 million cubic metres of which have to be pumped out of the former mines every year to warrant the structural integrity of the entire region). Random cycle almost 30,000 litres of water per minute to create a monolithic form, an ephemeral tower that appears and disappears instantaneously. The sound of the falling drops is intensely loud and a sensation of moisture lingers in the air. Through the senses, Tower explores possibilities for engagement with, and access to, an historic, industrial space on a scale that had not originally been intended for human / social use. In sharp contrast to the solid and static architecture of Zeche Zollverein, the ‘simulated structure’ of Tower is transient, its watery presence a temporary spectre. By bringing such large quantities of water into the controlled form of a building, Random International investigate if a structural purpose can wrought upon this otherwise chaotic element. The architecture of the space becomes performative, inviting those within it to experience the water of Zeche Zollverein in a uniquely physical and intimate way (and get absolutely soaked in the process).