Similar to other German cities, Dortmund saw a surge in privatized real estate in the early 1960s. Thousands of residential apartments were bought by private owners. Many people seized what seemed like a golden opportunity to invest in lucrative real estate. Soon after, brokerages took advantage of these investors’ lack of experience and sold them properties in bad condition, tricking them into believing would make a good bargain. Many investors paid up without having seen the apartments or homes they were buying. Subsequently, a large number of these properties decayed and became uninhabitable over the years as a result of exposure to the elements and deliberate damage.
One of these “nonplaces”, a tower block located at Kielstrasse 26 in Dortmund, was captured by the photographer Sebastian Hoppe. He roamed through the abandoned building for four months with his camera, zooming in on the compositions of objects and colors created by the passage of time. During his exploration of the crumbling and vandalized spaces, Hopp discovered different objects and personal items left behind by a previous generation that recalled its stories and fate.