Architectural Doubt

Henriksen has developed a body of work around ideas of ‘architectural doubt’ and ‘architectural frustration’, and has used these words to define and title his works. For the show ‘Berlin North’ at Hamburger Bahnhof in 2004, Henriksen was given carte blanche for a site-specific sculpture. At the time, Hamburger Bahnhof already seemed a fairly neutral, renovated space, bearing few traces of its history, which made it all the more striking to Henriksen how two different buildings from two different time periods had been sutured together behind what is now the information and ticket desk. The line that marks the connection between the old Hamburger Bahnhof train station and the extension built for a transport and construction museum some sixty years later can usually be more easily felt than seen. 


Henriksen’s sculpture, Architectural Doubts, 2004, made this very chaotic line into a partition, with a tongue-and-groove pinewood structure going from wall to wall, floor to ceiling, blocking the normally open path from one space to the other. The choice of material comes from Henriksen’s cultural background but it was also important to Henriksen that he was building a wall with a material made for building walls, creating something he calls ‘100% realism’. 

Architectural Doubts revealed the building’s classicist shape on one side and the ornamental shape on the other, with the sculpture itself marking the meeting point between two different, irreconcilable architectural aesthetics while functioning as a time capsule, a visualisation of what the building has been through and the doubt that has accompanied its transformation. 

Knut Henrik Henriksen, Kurfürstenstrasse 14, D-10785 Berlin, Germany 

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