Topotek 1 realized their very first project on the rooftop of their former Berlin studio. The „Sky Garden“ is a short story, which holds a special significance as an initial act. At this early point, it already shows that the graphical treatment of surfaces and the joyful play with syntax and context are primary pillars of the bureaus‘ design approach.


By lifting yellow and white asphalt paint as well as prefabricated road markings on the limited (obvious car-free) rooftop towards the sky, Topotek 1 separates the elements of street graphics from its original environment and thus leads the communication of information, as an essential function of graphic design, ad absurdum. This visible shift in the syntax, i.e. the use of a language in a different context, which is shown here as a methodological approach, bears the possibility to emphasize alternative concepts and statements. How do these different frames of reference work together? What is their particular significance? And who is the recipient of the new message? … Questions that let the viewer’s thoughts travel. Furthermore, the scale of the project forces the viewer to look upwards. The huge signs, which symbolic language is oriented towards the sky, represent a recurring theme and are firmly anchored in the landscape architectural repertoire.


The „Sky Garden“ can be seen as an experiment, as a versatile game with (supposed) widths, different levels of meaning and their inherent graphical codes – a topic that may link many other projects like Flemmingstraße, DKV Kreuzberg, Maselakekanal and Superkilen.

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