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Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stations, Graf Adolf Platz, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten Photo netzwerkarchitekten
Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stations, Graf Adolf Platz, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Photo Joerg Hempel
Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stations, Graf Adolf Platz, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Photo Joerg Hempel
Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stations, Graf Adolf Platz, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Photo Joerg Hempel
Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stations, Graf Adolf Platz, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Photo Joerg Hempel
Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stations, Graf Adolf Platz, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Photo Joerg Hempel
Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stations, Graf Adolf Platz, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Photo Joerg Hempel
Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stations, Graf Adolf Platz, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Photo Joerg Hempel

Agate

Manuel Franke

Manuel Franke has used hundreds of panels of luminous green glass to create an immersive chromatic environment interrupted only by a powerful flow of lines that accompany the passenger from the street, through the concourse and down to the platform. Delicate linear subdivisions alternate with explosive bursts of color. These zestful colors were achieved by way of a specially developed analog process realized by an artistic intervention during manufacturing.
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Manuel Franke – Agate

Text by Anja Schürmann
»The up and down of color.« (Daniel Buren)

Two rivers run through the Graf-Adolf-Platz U-Bahn station. From the west and the east they come flowing underground and arrive at circa 1,000 square meters in the south. The rivers are not blue, they are purple, almost gray, their riverbeds almost green. Achat, as Franke calls his station, doesn’t look like this. Agate, which occurs under the conditions of oxidization are, as a rule, not green. Rather, they are violet: Franke screen printed two sheets of glass in violet and green and then manipulated the upper green glass: He took the green off of 170 sheets, working it with rags, sponges, spatulas and syringes, with solvents and air, to obtain the characteristic waveform and irregular structure of agate.
It is not only remarkable how accurately Franke must have sketched the transitions and gradients in advance, but also the level of detail in the design. Because the grayish-purple current attests to the traces of its processing, it reveals its fabrication and in some places it is possible to see how the glass sheet was handled by the artist. The double layer gives the »stone« depth. Contours and shadows make the structure constantly oscillate between a reflective bright green artificiality and give the impression of real stone, and while the walls don’t draw the eyes in a precise direction, they instead sink into a harmonious, decorative game of surface and ground. People always want to practice earth anatomy, inside the earth. Even the sculptor Manuel Franke appears to be one who understands the world less as a vineyard and more as a quarry. Not only the titles of works, like malachite, bear witness to this, his artistic approach also repeatedly calls space into question. It is changed, triggered or disturbed with large gestures, such as in a huge orange wall in Esslingen in 1999. Manuel Franke and Leni Hoffmann also took up this color combination of violet and green at Malkasten. A review at the time called it »decorative and above at the same time,« and purple and green are actually complementary contrasts according to Harald Küppers’ theory of color. If, however, one asks themselves what the sculpture is in Franke’s design, one must understand that plastic art and sculpture are not synonymous terms. In plastic art an object is modeled from a formable material; sculpture is created by the removal of a non-flexible material. In stone or wood the sculptural form is retrieved, always as a result of natural sedimentation and working with the grain, the inclusions, or other forms of deposit. Plastic arts are free from such guidelines: the material is flexible, the size is not yet determined, and it offers the sculptor the possibility of taking any conceivable form. As a mineral, agate is both: plastic art and sculpture, formed and found at the same time. Because agates only occur in cavities, in the holes in stone, they often need a volcanic bubble to grow, a bubble that also must be removed, found and freed, like a sculpture. Entering just a few meters into the U-Bahn station at Graf-Adolf-Platz and one is in such a bubble, in agate whose structure Manuel Franke has translated into glass – and one cannot help but want to follow this discovery and its mineral traces.
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Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stations, Graf Adolf Platz, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Photo Joerg Hempel

Process and construction

The glass wall panels were processed by hand directly by the artist during production in the glass foundry. The shadowing and distortions were caused by the subtraction of the fresh layer of green. After a pre-drying process at 200° C the unique glass panels were then hardened at 600° C. Subsequently, each pane thus processed was joined to another panel, dyed violet. The multiple surface layers or areas of color in the resulting glass composite created a subtle sense of plasticity and depth in the flat glass surfaces. The glass panels were attached to the substructure with fixed concealed point mountings.
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Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stationen, Graf Adolf Platz, Process and Construction, Prozess und Baukunst, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Bauarbeiter auf Geruest, Photo Manuel Franke
Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stationen, Graf Adolf Platz, Process and Construction, Prozess und Baukunst, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Bemalung der Platten, Photo Manuel Franke
Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stationen, Graf Adolf Platz, Process and Construction, Prozess und Baukunst, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Plattenbemalung, Photo Manuel Franke

Spatial Concept

The subway station at Graf Adolf Platz is accessed from the north via two entrances. While the access on the west side at Elisabethstrasse is positioned parallel to the track and to the road, access on the east side runs perpendicular to the station and connects to the neighborhood lying east of Graf Adolf Platz. All entrances lead down to a concourse from where passengers take one of two side routes down to the platforms. Each of the routes is comprised of a flight of stairs plus two escalators. The entire access zone is located within a cut where shallow sloping ceilings open the station volume up to offer unobstructed views from the concourse all the way down to platform level.
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Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stations, Graf Adolf Platz, Spatial Conception, Raeumliches Konzept, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Photo netzwerkarchitekten
Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stations, Graf Adolf Platz, Spatial Conception, Raeumliches Konzept, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Photo netzwerkarchitekten
Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stations, Graf Adolf Platz, Spatial Conception, Raeumliches Konzept, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Photo netzwerkarchitekten
Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stations, Graf Adolf Platz, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten Photo netzwerkarchitekten
Wehrhahnlinie Duesseldorf, Stations, Graf Adolf Platz, Manuel Franke, netzwerkarchitekten, Photo Joerg Hempel