Berlin Love Zone

Cal Poly Pomona
Fall 2014

Frank Clementi's “Heresy of Function” topic studio explored the re-use and reprogramming of famous monuments. While the modernists believed that form strictly follows function, monuments exist without any sort of utilitarian purpose. Rather, they symbolize the metaphysical, the sacred, and the indelible. In Frank's class, we fused the sublime with the mechanical, in efforts to provide function to some of the most renowned monuments.

An initial study on manipulating the Berlin Wall to create a love hotel

"The secret ingredient to sex is love." –B  (Nymphomaniac, dir. Lars Von Trier)

As a large-scale love hotel, the Berlin Love Zone brings people together in the same location where the Berlin Wall once stood. Within this 500-foot wide region, the Berlin Wall changes from a linear structure to a field of Smoosh Walls, on which the hotel units attach. Various programs allow people to not only carry out their sexual fantasies, but even more private acts of love.

For nearly 30 years the Berlin Wall divided the east from the west. In 1961, the German Democratic Republic erected the wall around West Berlin to prevent emigration and defection from communist East Germany. As the wall transformed from a mere barbed wire fence to an entirely walled “No Man’s Land,” approximately 5,000 people endeavored to flee. Even until after 1989 with the reopening of the border, the Berlin Wall continued to symbolize imprisonment and the division of two opposing sides (communism vs. democracy, east vs. west, etc.).

With the occupation of No Man’s Land, the space joins these two sides physically and through the intimate relationships between individuals that utilize the project. The Berlin Love Zone thus acts as a vehicle for love, congregation, and human connection.

Site plan for a modern-day reinterpretation of the Berlin Wall

The project utilizes the zone of the Berlin Wall as a statement of occupation, filling the site with various programs that may address aspects of love and lust: hotel units (known as Smoosh Rooms), a bath house, Parks of Passion, a costume shop, Galleries of Curiosity/Learning, and Fantasy Machines.
Although the Berlin Wall no longer stands, the drawing uses dotted lines to show where it once existed.

Site section
Diagrammatically speaking, the original Wall was seen as a line, but the Berlin Love Zone uses the wall as a field condition.
The Smoosh Walls act as egress and circulation spaces to the Smoosh Rooms. One enters from the second floor, which houses the play space (sleep, sex, etc.); whereas, the first floor contains the bathroom.

Each Smoosh Wall contains 2 or 4 units, with a pair functioning as a whole. The rotating doors allow the users of the space to connect both units together... or not. Three unit typologies exist: type A (the most common; it represents most couples), the monad unit (the least common), and type C (which represents distant couples... or parents that yell at each other from across the house).

People choose to perform acts of love in different ways.

Fly-through of the site