Nomad City Passage 03 / Highest Levels

The third project of the NOMAD CITY PASSAGE series explored six distinctive highrise buildings of the Cologne cityscape. Both local residents and visitors were invited to spend the night on the top floor of one of these sites. For six nights in a row, they converted the top floor of the Funkhaus Wallrafplatz, the Hansa Building, the highrise housing complex of the Fachhochschule Köln, the KölnTriangle, the Colonia Building and the Kölnturm into a temporary campsite. Those populating the floors every day were present as hosts and active participants in the project. During the overnight stay a new, personal connection to the site was established – for the hosts by means of a different use of the locations familiar to them from their everyday life, and for the other participants by exchanging the customary perspective of the passer-by looking up from the ground for a personal appropriation of the otherwise inaccessible locations at the top.

Taking down the tents on the”Rocket”, high-rise-residential Building of the Cologne University of Applied Science. Photo: Christian Ahlborn
Concept und realization:
Oliver Gather, Rebekka Reich
with the support of
der Stadt Köln und
des Landschaftsverbandes Rheinland.
realised within the framework of Landesinitiative StadtBauKulturNRW and plan09
Cologne, Germany 2009
Teaser for the documentary film “Highest Levels“ by Reich/Richter, 2011, 4 min
“… For one evening, one night and one morning, a non-public site in a prominent location is redefined and reoccupied in the manner of a natural habitat. To date Gather and Reich have twice applied their special concept of recontextualizing individual places: in 2005 they concerned themselves with the projected image of the city of Düsseldorf, where they spent a night at the “Medienhafen“, a museum, a shopping mall, a tennis club and a golf course; in May, they and their camping teams visited sites on the outskirts of the European Capital of Culture Linz.“
From the catalogue essay of Plan09

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