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Absolute Power (pt. 3)

Posted by
MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 7 April 2010 in Architecture.

For a short moment I was thinking of telling you the solution of this little game, but I've decided to keep you in suspense for some time.

So what are we looking at today: we are now positioned between yesterday's high rise and the loooong building from that day before. The organization that worked here has left these buildings several years ago, but they are still in a good shape. No weeds, no graffiti, no smashed windows. It's like they have left the scene just yesterday, and walking through these empty buildings makes you a bit shiver. The only signs of life are coming from the people who parked their cars, but most of the time you're alone here.

Behind these relief-featured buildings in the background we can catch a glimpse of a residential area, filled with buildings that are much older than the ones at this miraculous site. More residences can be found behind our position here: this whole building complex is surrounded by the city (and a small red-light district), but only few people from the surrounding residences are strolling along here, along this street. (To give you an idea: these photos were taken on a Saturday afternoon.)

So what men were driven up along this road? Mad dictators? Profane billionaires? Germany's secretest Secret Service? Why has nobody mentioned mad scientists yet? Maybe the V2 or similar infernal machines were designed here. Who knows it?

What happened here? Tell me the truth! Quick!

Update: This game is solved. See the answer here.

-= Part 1 | Part 2 =-

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

I give in!

7 Apr 2010 7:42am

@Ted: Take up some time, you are very close to the right solution! Look!

Laurent from France

Has it something to do with army? as the background sculptures look like knights.

7 Apr 2010 8:23am

@Laurent: Two men on horses, right. One of them is St. Martin. So it's probably no army building.

António Pires from Lisbon, Portugal

Nuclear research? I think there is (or there was) in Germany a Max Planck Institute devoted to the research in Physics, particularly nuclear physics. That could make sense (the time span of the buildings, 1920's up to 1950's) the reference to the V2, the absolute power. On the other hand, the buildings have a style frequently found in buildings of scientific institutions.

7 Apr 2010 10:50am

@António Pires: Good thoughts. I'm sure that scientists were working here, though this was not a scientific organization. But they needed scientists for weighing the risks...
Does this help? A bit??

Laurent from Lyon, France

Well, St Matin fisrt was a military ;o).
So those sculptures have nothing to do with the former occupants of the building?

7 Apr 2010 10:58am

@Laurent: I'm not completely sure about this; you can find religious motives as well as signs of power: St. Martin, the Holy Family, but also crowned pillars and the heads of lions. Then there's this fountain with these putti on dolphines... I don't know if they really were related to all this; maybe they thought so, but not necessarily the people they were deciding on...

Philip from South Wales, United Kingdom

Nice photo again. I do like the lines on these buildings. However, I am confused as to their use. I am currently thinking this must have been either a University or Public building impacted by world events. I do not think it was a building owned by a private organisation. Therefore, a question: Did the organisation that was based here move out becasue of a) Problems with the buildings or b) Wanted to move to a new building or c) Its job was done and therefore closed down or d) historical event?

7 Apr 2010 2:21pm

@Philip: a) The buildings are in a proper state. Some overhaul and they will look like new again.
b and d) They were swept away by the power of economic necessities.
c) Whatever they did is now done by their successors, just elsewhere.
Good questions, keep it up! Friday is the day!

Michael from Chester, United Kingdom

Unfortunately Antonio has robbed my thoughts....! I was about to say a university research station developing nuclear power. The question must be asked, why did they leave, did the work come to an end ? The complex seems quite open to the outside world, so it can't be military, maybe it's the offices of social security and welfare..? This guessing game could go on for days.... :0

7 Apr 2010 2:29pm

@Michael: I will reveal everything on Friday. Until then I'm having lots of fun. :-D
They had to leave for economic reasons, to say that they were bombed out of their offices would only be right in a figurative sense.

T.h.o.m.a.s. from Paris, France

very nice perspective!

7 Apr 2010 4:32pm

@T.h.o.m.a.s.: Merci, T.h.o.m.a.s.! But what is it?

Philip from South Wales, United Kingdom

OK - putting together all the clues and your support for Ted's Water Tower guess and I get - Utility company (probably Water due to fountain in first photo) taken over by another German Company (RWE or EON).

The 'bombed out' clue worries me - was there some corruption or just a take over?

The second question is what did they do at these buildings? Since you have asked, I assume it was not just sending out water bills!! Perhaps this Utility company was involved in power research?

I have assumed all along that this building is in Germany?

7 Apr 2010 5:52pm

@Philip: Company is good, at last! Wrong industry, but it's a company building complex!

drphoto from Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

I'm enjoying this game (mostly because the pictures are great) but it is quite frustrating!

It looks like the local council buildings we have in my town but previous guesses seemed to have ruled that out.

You have hinted that it is somewhere where decisions were made, decisions that affect local residents... but you have also hinted at something religious, something risky that needs scientists and something not too far from the secret service! I'm confuuuuused!

I would guess some sort of policy development... Was it a town planner's office (the tower could give a good view of the surrounding area? Bur then, why does everybody avoid it? And what economic forces caused these buildings tom be cleared while allowing successors to set up elsewhwere?! Is there some sort of stigma attached to it?

Final guess: Town Planners

7 Apr 2010 7:03pm

@drphoto: Your thoughts are told with wisdom, but you need more courage for reaching the right solution. Try thinking of a company headquarters, Christine's and Philip's assumptions are pointing into the right direction. :-) More hints tomorrow, you'll get another chance until I reveal the whole story at Friday. Hee, hee...

(How could I have ignored your blog - I've just corrected this.)

Michael from Chester, United Kingdom

Grrrrr..... is it the Peoples Political Party ?

7 Apr 2010 8:27pm

@Michael: Er, cold! Very cold! :-) With tomorrow's hints you'll slap your thigh and cry: Of course!

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

I am surely at a loss here as to what the buildings used to house. I look forward to the reveal tomorrow. :-)

7 Apr 2010 9:03pm

@Steven: Friday! You'll get one more chance tomorrow! :-)

JoeB from Brampton, Canada

I'm late coming to this game, at first I thought it might be the former headquarters of Stasi, but the conversation has shifted more towards industry. So is it a former bank building or car manufacturing headquarters ?

8 Apr 2010 12:05am

@JoeB: You are coming close to the truth with a bank building, but António has found the solution in the meantime. Details tomorrow!

Céline from New York City, United States

Nice shot !

8 Apr 2010 1:18am

@Céline: Thanks, Céline!

Christine Walsh from Astoria, NY, United States

My only guess for today - Leica?

8 Apr 2010 2:53am

@Christine Walsh: Ha, they wish! :-)

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

I feel...frustrated!!!!

8 Apr 2010 10:26am

@Japanalia: Nobody shall get any frustration here! Tomorrow I'll reveal everything! :-)