‘soap opera’ by raumlaborberlin in the ruhr, germany all images courtesy raunlaborberlin photos by francesco apuzzo

‘soap opera’, by german collective raumlaborberlin is an installation for the opening ceremony of ‘ruhr.2010 european capital of culture‘. set at the base of the city’s former coal-mining tower and spilling forth to the surrounding site, the project transforms the old colliery into a cultural hub that evokes a cleansing process.

raumlaborberlin: soap opera dense cloud of latex balloons

the installation consists of hundreds of transparent, latex balloons–some filled with helium, some filled with just air. varying in size and weight, the scene when viewed from far away resemble a luminous mist of bubbles floating between the old bath house and the grove of birch trees. visitors experience the space by immersing themselves among the balloons, which are illuminated from within.

raumlaborberlin: soap opera balloons under the shaft tower

‘soap opera’ temporary softens the precision and hardness of the architecture on site–the industrial shaft tower, metal trusses, and brick-clad facade–by its material and form. visitors, who are the real actors in this performance, are encouraged to part the installation by taking parts of it along with them, resulting in the installation gradually dissolving as if it were made of foam.

raumlaborberlin: soap opera (left) rendering of the space (top right) bird’s eye view (top bottom) approach

raumlaborberlin: soap opera

raumlaborberlin: soap opera detail

raumlaborberlin: soap opera rendering

raumlaborberlin: soap opera site plan

raumlaborberlin: soap opera (left) elevation (right) detail

raumlaborberlin: soap opera illustrative diagram of installation