Sunday was a Big Day in Frankfurt. Next to the building where I work there is – or rather was – an ugly tower block, the AfE tower. We only move into our building last summer, and the whole time there has been building work on both side of us (on the other side of our building, workmen have been repeatedly digging an filling in the same hole). The AfE tower has been scheduled to be demolished, so a lot of prepatory work was needed, which mainly seemed to involve making loud noises, and even cutting our network cables, so that for a couple of weeks this was our connection to the internet:
The big day arrived when the tower was to be brought down arrived on Sunday. There was a nifty animation that showed how it would be done: first blow off the outside, and then bring down the main part of the tower, in two pieces.
The lower piece was aimed right at our building (my office is on the other side; the labs would take most of the damage of the bottom half of 32 floors of brutalist architecture falling on top of it), so we had lots of preparation to do: wrap half of the building, turn almost everything off (our servers are in the main Senckenberg building, which is only about 100m up the road), and make sure nobody is in the building on Sunday morning. On Sunday morning I was 4.8km away, as the google maps, streaming the live coverage from Hessischer Rundfunk over the web. All went well – we even heard the sound live, a couple of seconds after the building went down. Although all of the humans were outside an exclusion area, the Senckenberg’s T. rex was allowed to stay inside (would you argue with him?), so he managed to catch this footage from a camera that seems to be attached to his left leg:
Sunday afternoon was busy for some people, running around checking that everything was OK. Our building was intact – there wasn’t even any dust in my office, even though there was a lot outside a couple of hundred metres away:
And this is the remains of the AfE tower:
Now we just have to suffer the sounds of this pile of wreckage being taken away. And then they’ll probably insist on fiulling the space with a new post-Brutalist tower.