BÜCHEL:LAB

 

Choreograph and design public space through developing processes and actions collectively

"Love your city" lettering on a building Copyright: © Creative Commons (CC)

The Corona pandemic has shown us more than ever that our cities should be planned differently: Greener, more social and more inclusive. What does this mean?

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The value of urban greenery has become much more important to many people over the last year. Spending time in green spaces improves mental and physical health and enables social contact with friends and acquaintances, despite pyhsical distancing. However, partly overcrowded green spaces also showed that there are too few green spaces in our cities, which often do not meet the expectations of the visitors. Long queues and empty restaurants made us realise that our cities as we know them are partly planned in a mono-functional way and focus on consumption. Could we put more decision-making power into the hands of the residents to make them co-producers in design processes and to think and realise collaborative and inclusive concepts of the city? We will test this city-making on the basis of a concrete place by creating ideas in a participatory way, developing temporary concepts of use and interventions and implementing them structurally. The focus will be on the following topics:

  • Green space and residential well-being
  • Urban interventions and performative urban development
  • Management and development of temporary uses

Our site of action will be the parking garage at Büchel. The building will be demolished in 2021, freeing up an area of about 4500 qm. This future wasteland is to be used multifunctionally and experienced as a versatile place. A place of understanding and exchange between various actors is to be formed. In a joint process, ideas for the design have already been collected and translated into a rough concept: from open-air cinema to stage art to barefoot paths to the design of an adventure playground, a wide variety of activities are already planned for the future. Acceptance for these new functions must be generated through innovative actions within the framework of an interim use of the site. In this way, the wasteland at Büchel is to become a stage for performative urban development.

Thus, innovative spatial responses will be found on a local level that deal offensively with the crisis and understand it as a catalyst and opportunity for new developments.

The project is designed for two consecutive semesters as an M2 project for students in the Master of Architecture. Students in the Master of Urban Planning can enroll in the project as a one-semester project (M1/2/3) in winter 2021/22, as well as in summer 2022.

In the winter semester 2021/22 (M2.1 or M1/2/3), theoretical concepts of temporary spatial development will be prepared and various case studies will be analyzed. The aim is to understand how public interaction space is designed theoretically and practically. The relationship of people to space and behavior and their interactions with it will be examined more closely. What role do people play in spatial development processes? For example, we will look at concepts such as Place Making, Temporary Urbanism or Tactical Urbanism and develop an innovative concept of space use for the wasteland on the basis of these. Based on the findings of the theoretical preliminary work, designs are to be developed in the summer semester of 2022 (M2.2 or M1/2/3), which will then be implemented on site, at the former location of the parking garage at Büchel in Aachen.

The task is set by the Chair of Landscape Architecture in close cooperation with the Städtische Entwicklungsgesellschaft Aachen GmbH & Co. KG (SEGA).