Two strands with chambers 8,3 m and 6 m lang,
Aluminium Cast, patinated
Termite mound (Realisierung in 2024)
Non-human animals learn, pass on their knowledge, organise themselves in communities. Much of this is visible in their architectures – numerous birds, mammals and fish build complex nests and dwellings. The constructions of state-building insects such as ants and termites are particularly fascinating. The two-part installation “König*Innen” juxtaposes their architectures with a new school building. Not as a counter design, but as a parallel design with which we tell the story of humans and animals as a communal one – as one in which we can learn from each other.
A termite mound in Munich? Are termites on the rise?
Shipped in as an invasive species via timber imports, termites in Europe have already spread to some regions of France; like humans, they are extremely adaptable. Outside their original habitat, they are considered pests because of their consumption of wood. In the wild, termites feed on dead wood, which they return to the cycle of nature in this way. As social insects, termites, like ants, fascinate with their spectacular constructions, which are created collectively, are built to balance temperatures and can last for thousands of years.
The image – mounds and tunnels, outside and inside
In front of the new school, a huge termite mound can be seen from afar – an insect state seems to claim its territory here. Its sudden appearance in this strange environment is surprising, almost as if it had just flown in, like an unknown spaceship. Up close, the organic structure of the massive form can be recognised. What is happening beneath the iridescent surface is only hinted at. The inner structure remains hidden. Inside the school building, we encounter the inversion of this idea: the hidden structure of an underground antfarm is brought to light as a sculpture. In the central stairwell, the filigree corridors with their adjoining chambers hang from the ceiling in two main strands. The stairwell can be experienced as an imaginary subterranean ant kingdom. Anyone ascending or descending the central staircase in the atrium moves along the ant corridors. The physical/spatial experience of both objects creates an emotional connection in which architecture plays the central role as a space for living, learning and experiencing.
Principles of Form – Building Up and Taking Down / Tower and Mine
The two sculptural elements inspired by termite mounds and ant mining also stand for two fundamental ways of creating form that can be read and experienced in animal architecture: building up/constructing and mining/digging down. The installation “König*Innen” addresses the curiosity, fantasy and imagination of the children, the desire to discover something – connections: plastic, ecological, political and social.
QUIVID Art-in-Building Programme of the City of Munich
Senftenauerstraße Primary School
Architects: Schulz and Schulz, Leipzig
Foundry sculpture: Skulpturmanufaktur Rohr, Niefern – Öschelbronn
Assistance model making: Jiha Jeon