Mehringplatz is the site for this project. Here, the circular shape of a baroque plaza, destroyed during the war, was re-created with a single building with the same shape of the former square. Following what was the most state-of-the-art idea of planning of that time - first floor elevated on pilotis, permeable empty ground floor, abundance of green empty space and lack of varieties in functions and typologies, the square is still nowadays perceived as an uncanny and peripheric space, despite its central position. The strong circular shape imposed on the devastated city fabric after the war made me associate the platz to a planet orbit, where the canteen I would design should crash the circle like an asteroids cloud.
Parallel to this approach, a reflection upon the typology of the canteen is brought through: a canteen is a food factory, a fast system where a link between the role of consumer and the role of producer is rarely shown. On the contrary, in the Soft Machine, each part of the system is showcased: the different steps are framed by geometric forms, which solve the various functions needed. Like asteroids, they crash the circular orbit of the Mehringplatz. This machine is soft. Eating is love and this architecture must reflect this warm and human sensation. Love is protection. The walls and stairs are filters for an intimate space where the ground embraces the visitor. Love is trust. Every step of the food production system happens in front of the user’s eyes.