Friday, September 17, 2010

Assignment 3.16 The Olympic Tower

The Olympiaturm is a defining feature of Munich's skyline, it's 291m height making it visible from virtually anywhere in the city and from a great distance away, quite visible from the Alps on a clear day.  It was completed in 1968 as part of the complex built for the 1972 summer Olympic games.  It contains a viewing platform, revolving restaurant and even a small rock and roll museum with some pretty cool exhibits (The Olympic stadium and arena being two of Munich's key stages for major rock and roll acts.  On the day I visited the Stadium was having U2's lighting rig installed for a gig two days ago.

As you arrive on foot, especially from the south the tower is a spectacular view, especially on a clear day

From below the height becomes very clear

However, the key interest in visting the tower is to pay 4.50 Euro and take the elevator to the viewing platform at 190m.  The view is stunning, the following 4 photographs show the 4 stations of the compass:

First looking South over the city of Munich towards the Alps.  As we arrived at the platform around midday the view is very hazy with the Sun in the south, however, the air was clear enough to make out the Alps in the distance.  The large church in the middle ground is the Cathedral that has been featured already in this sequence of images

Looking East, we overlook the BMW headquarters building and the ring road that encircles the city

North is the Olympic Village, built to house the athletes for the 72 games and also the subject of a previous post, the shadow of the tower acting as a giant sun dial, pointing almost due North

Finally looking to the West, are the buildings that make up the Olympic complex

A wider angle shot takes in the new BMW Museum with its roof covered in solar panels and immediately behind it one of BMW's production plants

Whilst I appreciate that this blogs goal is to explore the interaction of people with buildings it is hard to resist presenting a few more images taken from the top of the tower.  The wide angle images are predominantly taken with a 17-40mm zoom coupled with a circular polar filter, the close ups are with a 70-200mm zoom, but no filter.

First a couple more shots of the Olympic village, a possible location for Assignment 4 image making

The O2 building and interesting road junction

A close up of the BMW HQ, built to resemble a flat four cylinder configuration

This is a close up of the new BMW museum

and the BMW factory immediately behind

However, my goal in visiting the tower was to take images of the building and the people who come to visit it. The viewing platform is on two levels, the upper level is narrower and does not have a safety fence, enabling shots to be made that include both visitors and tehe perspective of the landscape beyond.  Using a fairly narrow aperture enables both to be captured more or less in focus:

The final image in this sequence, capture a little girl just about to throw a paper plane off the tower, her mther intercepted just in time.  Shooting along the plane of the platform can create some interesting perspectives:

The above image is also an example of a figure small.

Moving into the core of the building there is also a viewing area behind glass, grubby glass

The small, but well stocked rock museum is rather a disappointment at first glance, however, close inspection finds some gems, this is a mirrored Elton John piano.

Finally, the big problem in the tower is the rather limited capacity of the two access lifts, meaning that there is always something of a scrum of people trying to get in and out

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