Preamble – The following is a creative writing assignment from earlier this week. I’d like to share it here, as a momentary diversion from the endless reblogging and linking.
From any angle, the new headquarters of the European Central Bank is a formidable sight. It squats on the Frankfurt skyline, a giant monolith of glass and steel. Construction has not yet been completed, and from my position on this bench on the riverbank, I can see deep into the complex anatomy of its structure. A latticework of scaffolding runs up the centre, joining two disparate halves together like some ancient prehistoric circuitry, with sheets of glass creeping up this framework as though reaching for the sun.
Glimmers of movement can be discerned in the fading gloom of dusk. Shadows of workmen move amongst the scaffolds, sparks flying from their tools, whilst mechanical lifts ascend and descend according to their own singular purpose. Looming on the periphery, several cranes raise materials to the workmen waiting inside, then lower their heads to await further instruction. The whirring sound of their activity is carried on the wind, faint, and then merges into the ambient noise of life on the river bank.
There’s a sweep of curved glass on each face of the building, and there don’t seem to be any right angles. At first, I imagine that this is some kind of trick of the light, my tired eyes imagining something that isn’t there. But then I realise this is actually the case; one of the corners of the building at the bottom is pointing in the opposite direction as the corresponding top corner. My eyes slowly travel up and down to verify this, and I’m impressed enough by this architectural feature to emit a low whistle. Simultaneously, a woman walks past me with her dog. She doesn’t notice, or pretends not to, perhaps she is frequently assailed by whistling gentleman as she follows this path each evening, but at least the dog acknowledges the sound, its ears twitching instinctively.