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Hello David and Alexander,

I remember the walk very well. Here's a small reflection about it:

I have known the building pretty well, since as an architect I worked on the future location for Arts Centre the Appel together with Ann and Tony, trying to find a space fitting to their needs even better than the building has been doing for a long time. It has been a place full of memories for everybody there.

Seeing a building completely empty, stripped to its bare being of walls, floors and ceilings happens only on three occasions: 1)right after finishing construction 2)in between movements of users 3)in an architect's mind and drawings.

An architect's mind is a perverted one: we have a vocabulary of mass and void, of space, but our rigid designer's view do not allow those spaces to be used, altered or brought in disbalance. We prefer empty, finished space.  Seeing the building empty was a rare sense of resignation. Finally sensing what those architectural drawings were trying to represent.

During the walk the emptiness, which I first perceived as quiet, balanced, started showing all kinds of imperfections. Traces of the previous use, deterioration of an old building. It was like a beautiful old woman with wrinkles. It showed what the drawings have never been able to show: time, use, age.

The conversation with my host was a good conversation. We talked about places far away from Amsterdam, far away from the building. We talked about Argentina, a very good memory for me. The contradiction between getting closer to the here and now and talking about far and away was nice. The context of emptiness gives space for thought.

Alone with the video I actually wasn't really interested in the video. I rather would have been alone in silence in the building. The walk outside alone was the best way of saying goodbye.

Just some random thoughts, hopefully useful for your project,

An email from Thomas Dieben (04.05.2009)