Miscellenous observations on the number 25

Five times Nine

Figure 9 is the wellknown hero in the novel “How meaning came into life” by novelist and philosopher George Weinberg, which made me think about other numbers and figures and symbols on the transport of meaning and structures. Sons of Mannheim may need a femal counterpart but first grade mathematician, young daughter of Mannheim, student at Kaiserslautern University, joined the group of questers into ciphers. 9 and 25. How come? Rohrbach film price installed in Neunkirchen Saar. Whilst talking to a nice gallerist near the former Karcher-Court we found out that most interesting contributions have been made by Rohrbach to Emmerich films, actress Senta Berger was a jury member, even multilanguage european TV station „arte“ reported in full length. Living in a medium size town Karlsruhe with 300.000 inhabitants, in between Basel, Switzerland, and Frankfurt on the river Main, both more than double size but still small compared to metropolitian European areas and tiny in China, a distance of 25 minutes is not that much. Now near Ramstein Air Base, largest military US base outside the States, parelelled by the French Train of Grand Vitesse, TGV, ten times 25 kilometres an hour, I stopped using my bike which takes me from my Karlsruhe studio to the centre of town within 25 minutes. Instead, walking for a while lacking other instruments, reflecting an AA scholarship which took me to Brindisi, Corfu, Paestum. Publisher Klaus Wagenfeld told me about his trip to Paestum 59 years ago, his bicycle was noisy, using some vulgar pork fat to get rid of the unfamiliar sound. It worked. Alison and Peter Smithson in 1959 reflection on the speed of  monkey travelling in Ancient Greek Times. Watching the setting of Greek Temples on the mountain hills of Attica. Twice 25 plus 9. Having in mind these adventures, Wagenfeld and my own one in Paestum, subsequently in Athens, I started walking right into the forest. Daughter of Mannheim in the train in my mind.

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Math grad 15. High up, many pounds of backpacking, all very close to Ramstein Air Base. New iPhone App gave hints on meters high up and down and calories used and the speed of light. 40 times 25 meters, 32 minutes, three times nine plus five. 25 minutes duration. Sweating along the line. Changed cloths, wrote to a friend near Abidjan. Found out that my greatgrandfather took a horse ride to Baku 25 years before my father was told about his  adventures. Very long time ago. Chevaliers legères, “Schwolleschee” in my mothers tongue “Palatine”. 25 minutes for a quick car ride along Ramstein to Rohrbach birthplace, 25 plus 9 kilometres, twentyfive minutes for a bicycle ride in Karlsruhe, 25 root kilometres, 25 minutes for a walk within the wild life, twice ninehundred meters. Now taking into consideration the speed of monkey travels in classical Attica, noticing ideal proportions of singular buildings, temples, and finding myself trotting through Hansel and Gretel Palatine forest, getting closer to a small house I designed 25 years ago. Still nice, best but modest proportions, the director of the museum was shocked about the modesty. No tangerine cream dream crème like swelling Wolfe exaltations, a missing arch, sad, it never will happen. But the one family house survived all fashions, simple 5 to 9 and 8 ideal proportions, overlapping and interpenetrating threedimensional geometry. Modest and nice. Sort of proud of it after all these years and looking forward to yet another adventure into spatial exploration for a challenging project which has just entered my architectural practice, a few sketches made, already triggered nice words of appreciation by friend Stormfield. Honorary Consul for Poland; like my old friend Leon with a difference in time of Nine. Ramstein, 5 January 2013.

AA: Architectural Association School of Architecture, London WC1, Bedford Square.

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