While rereading portions of Rem Koolhaas' S,M,L,XL over the last few days, I was reminded of the relevance of his essay "Field Trip," written about visiting the Berlin Wall in the seventies, while finishing his architectural studies at the AA. On a level as simple as the title of our studio course (riffing on Rem's agenda of documenting "the Berlin Wall as architecture"?) and as complex as all the layers of use and implication, I have found the rereading of this essay illuminating for our current investigations.
See: S,M,L,XL. Rem Koolhaas and Bruce Mau (New York: Monacelli Press, 1995). P215-232.
"[The wall] is 165 kilometers long and confronts all of Berlin's conditions, including lakes, forest, periphery; parts of it are intensely metropolitan, others suburban.
"Also, the wall is not stable; and it is not a single entity, as I thought. It is more a situation, a permanent, slow- motion evolution, some of it abrupt and clearly planned, some of it improvised...."