Chameleon Eyes


The double-sided LED display in Heiligfeld Park faces the historic high rises on one side; while mirroring the contemporary architecture and technology of the newly developed buildings on the other. Constructed in the 1950s, the two original tower blocks were the country’s first residential high rises. They stood out not just for their height but also because of their intelligent synthesis of social, architectural, technical and ecological concerns. The residential blocks completed in 2019 build on this legacy of the listed originals, while catering to the shifting housing and working needs in the 21st century. Flats of varying sizes, a communal space, a nursery and office are all accommodated under one roof. Equipped with solar panels for green energy, insect-friendly lawns and roosting boxes for birds and bats, the roof also provides a habitat for animals and plants. Slightly offset one from the other, the tower blocks are organically embedded into the park with meandering pathways. The latter demarcate areas for gatherings or retreat and connect the site with the wider neighbourhood. Hovering in the tall grass of the park while scanning the sky for movement from the co-ops’ rooftops, Chameleon Eyes plugs itself into this habitat and transports the age-old metaphor of bird flight into the lively atmosphere of the Letzigraben.