Winter is approaching in Berlin. Nights become longer, and the sun is progressively being replaced by a monotone grey colour. But only 60 km away there is one (ersatz) Tropical Island to be found.
Reported to be the largest self-supported structure in the world, this hangar was built in 2000 to lodge a new prototype of dirigible. After the company went bankrupt, four years later, a Malaysian investment group converted the vast hall into a leisure-oriented artificial ecosystem: a rainforest.
The sliding walls of the airship hangar closed forever. The south façade needed to be glazed to allow daylight inside. An incredible amount of energy started reproducing a constant climate with 28-32ºC inside, around 60% humidity and 28ºC warm waters. A bombastic billboard depicts a Truman-blue sky.
And a piece of Germany is eventually encapsulated, like Buckminster Fuller capturing NewYork.
After the exotic first hour of the journey, excitement turns into sadness. I wonder whether the kids playing with the sand have previously seen a real beach. If not, which one will they actually prefer?
Back in Berlin city, one can easily find warnings written in German, English, French, Turkish and Spanish. In Tropical Islands, it is significant to read them in German, English, Polish and Czech. No Mediterranean visitors apparently. For whom are fakes more real than reality itself then? I guess that when one is used to experience the true Light everyday, dogmas of this paradise inside a cathedral-like dome are just a matter of believing or not believing.
Or maybe simply sun-therapy.
[all images> Tropical Islands in Berlin by deconcrete2010]