Yesterday I heard Jörg Stollmann, an architect and professor at TU Berlin, talk about Akademie einer neuen Gropiusstadt, a project he’s been involved with his students. It’s certainly interesting as a sign of direction where I feel urban design is currently heading. Based on smaller, plausible interventions, and perhaps having something to do with service design, the students have taken a somewhat fresher look on interacting with communities.
In this case the community is that of Gropiusstadt, a modernist Berlin mass housing area from the 1950s-60s, named after architect Walter Gropius (who was also involved with the original project). Designed for the ideal green suburban life, Gropiusstadt subsequently gained notoriety in the public eye as yet another typical modernist hub for social problems. In reality, things have calmed down significantly these days.
Through nicely edited – and easy to understand – displays of plans, diagrams, text and publications, the Akademie has approached Gropiusstadt in trying to find a specific segment where architects can contribute in making enviroment better, while maintaining understanding for the mass housing ideology, the suburban greenery and focusing on the good sides of life in Gropiusstadt.
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