Architecture: Zwischenräume Architekten + Stadtplaner,München
Landscape architecture: Latz + Partner LandschaftsarchitekturStadtplanung Architektur, Kranzberg
Photos: Lothar Reichel, Lido Meneses
Text: Matthias Supé
If you look at a pinecone with its tightly meshed scales and seeds, you probably have no idea that their arrangement is based on an exact mathematical formula. Nature is replete with such regularities and symmetries, and uncovering them, measuring them, and depicting them as precisely as possible has been the focus of Lena Bröcker’s artwork. Her piece, Kiefernhaus / Pine House, is an example.
A schematic of a pinecone on the wall in the entrance area extends upward over two stories. A highly dynamic ornament, whose spirals corkscrew outward into an imaginary infinity—and whose numbers (eight or twenty-one spiraling left, five or thirteen spiraling right) come from that series of numbers calculated in the Middle Ages by the Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci. It underlies the structure of plants such as the sunflower or the pineapple, or the population development of bees or rabbits, for instance. A schematic of this “Fibonacci sequence,” three more abstract images of female and male pine blossoms, and one of a pine seed in the rear and upper sections of the childcare center complete the piece. They are not all painted on the surfaces but are, instead, made of pinewood and colored Corian inlays in the walls. This refers to Lena Bröcker’s background as a sculptor, for one, and for another, raises the value of the wall mural as such. This also skillfully acknowledges the old stand of pine trees outside the daycare center and, in the best case scenario, inspires the children to take a closer look at the pinecones in the garden and perhaps recognize parallels while peeling a pineapple at home. For what concerns Lena Bröcker the most in her virtuoso mix of research and art is that we do not remain stuck with superficial, partial knowledge, and hence—in the worst case—with self-deception, but that we hone our perception and always question it honestly. Here, even a seemingly simply pinecone can offer the most beautiful opportunity to do so.