Bernd Behr

Amoy Gardens

Amoy Gardens (2003/2007) consists of a 35 mm slide projection depicting 34 images taken in and around the eponymous building in Hong Kong, a large-scale development including housing blocks above a shopping mall. The complex became an epicenter of the region’s 2002 SARS crisis through a malfunction of its ventilation and plumbing systems, leading to a perpetual circulation of the virus throughout its interior.

The timed, looped projection is accompanied by an audio recording of a young female citizen of Hong Kong reading excerpts from “Exact Air,” Le Corbusier’s treatise on air-as-architecture (in: The Radiant City. Paris 1933). The text accompanying the images below is a transcript of this recording, reflecting the reader’s difficulties with and reinvention of the original manifesto.

We must create our organ. The need to provide exact air.

I find the human lung. With adaptability and intelligence, let’s give the lung a contract, which is the prerequisites for its functionings: exact air.

Let’s manufacture exact air: filters, driers, humidifiers, disinfectors. Send exact air into men’s lungs, at home, at the factory, at the office, at the club and the auditorium.

Let’s create a “neutralizing wall.” A “neutralizing wall” developing enveloping the building and shuttering it from the cold outside. A circus of exact air inside the building. Air feed of dust, disinfected, humidified exactly and brought to a contrast temperature of about 64.4 degree Fahrenheit. Every minute eight liters of exact air will go through the rooms and into the lungs of the city wells.

Today great masses, at work and at rest, are preyed upon by a fatal illness. Tomorrow these masses will breathe! The cities can be rescued from the throw from air wafer.

With “exact respiration,” the multypical regulation of hygiene are unusable. The home can become something else when supplied with “basic pleasures.” I place my man in a new environment. Illness suffers a clashing defect.

The glass façade will be hermetic. No opening!

Since exact air is mechanically distributed by pulsentration, making it possible to bring life to limitless volumes of buildings, we can adopt a reasonable height of, say, 50 meters, for apartment houses.

“Exact respiration,” cornerstone of the urbanization of today’s city! The motivating ideas (respiration) lead to new architectural and city planning devices. Exact respiration (neutralizing wall and internal circus) is confirmed by experimentation!

Questionnaire for fitters of heating and cooling systems.

We wish to introduce the preliptic critical of “exact inspiration respiration” inside pub-like buildings, offices, or homes. “Exact respiration” is represented by a closed circuit of air with contrast temperature and contrast humidity. This is dust-free air and ozonified. All opening windows are eliminated with the possible exception of a few use fully disposed openings to act as proftholes (so as to be able to lean out). So the buildings would be heumetic.

Here we set the play of consequences in motion: everything is connected.

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