Tuesday, January 26, 2010

a new quarter in the heart of berlin

urbanistic survey for former berlin wall area,
commissioned by the district Berlin Mitte

type: urbanistic survey, invited competition
date: april to october 2008
content: development of a strategy and possible housing typology for a new quarter on the former no man´s land of the Berlin wall in Berlin Mitte (Centre) in the area of alte Jakobstraße and Alexandrienen Straße (near Metro Spittelmarkt)
status: completed, 3rd place
workgroup: KUNSTrePUBLIK, Urban Passion, ifau

In an urbanistic survey, commissioned by the municipality of Berlin/Mitte, we were invited to develop a new utilization and building concept for an area within the margins of the former death strip of the berlin wall between alte Jakob Straße, Alexandrinen- and Stallschreiber Straße. Within an interdisciplinary team of artists and architects we first organized interviews and talks with local inhabitants and external experts in an specially created vehicle. These talks formed a decisive basis of our proposal.

invited experts:

Klaus Overmeyer, landscape architect, urban catalyst studio, expert for bottom up planning

Horst Pfander, stattbau.de & Selbstbau Kreuzberg, expert for self-organized building

Winfried Härtel, Wohnprojekte-Berlin.info, expert for house builder groups

Berthold Becker, JonesLang LaSalle - Asset Management, expert for real estate development

Ralf Chille, TPA-berlin.de, Agentur für Quartiersmarketing, expert for place branding

Dr. Michael LaFont, id22, institute for creative sustainability, expert for alternative urban development

Christophe Kotanyi, AG-Kleinstlandwirtschaft und Gärten in Stadt und Land, expert for guerilla gardening and temporary uses

Alex Toland, Wrietzener Freiraumlabor Berlin, expert for guerilla gardening and temporary uses

The expert talks with their fruitful discussions created substantial input for our concepts.

Our key concepts:
-development in phases, small parcels,
-openness of identity = the possibility of experiments
-necessity of a program jump start, an initial spark
-connected, and accessible green spaces with individual use

The mix of "formal" and "informal" uses should be given in order to start right away with a diverse multiplicity of players in order to give the place a rather unique profile.
What do we mean by formal and informal uses? Formal once are those which are rather permanent and need high investment such as housing. Less permanent and less investment intensive uses like gardening, temporary workspaces, cultural venues we see as informal uses. Less permanent refers to the character of the spacial intervention following the use. Nevertheless we regard these uses as very important to shape the original character of the quarter.

In order to give smaller investors the chance to build and
also to get a better mix of users, our concept foresees relatively small parcels and the development in phases, in order to avoid a permanent building site. The aim is, to complete intact parts. That makes a long development phase bearable.

Concerning a possible architecture for the area we developed relatively flexible floor plan solutions which facilitate multi family uses. We try to keep the green spaces as big, connected and accessible as possible within the tight framework of the task.

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