The initial task was to design a German architecture institute and to find a suitable location for it. The analysis of the assignment led to questioning the given task and the search for an alternative solution.
The existing European architectural institutes, that have been brought as examples by the maker of the task, such as the NAI in Rotterdam or the Cité de l‘Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris, are all located in countries with a centralistic political system. In comparison, Germany is based on a federal system with 16 federal states, which were created by the historical development of the once-autonomous states.
Each of these individual states has its own distinctive cultural characteristics and history, which is manifested today in a large number of architectural centers in Germany.
The result of a Germany-wide search for architectural centers was an overview of their location, program and offerings. This multitude of specific and autonomous architectural centers deals with current topics of architecture as well as regional characteristics due to their location and its historical background. The entirety of all the centers displays a similar programmatic structure consisting of exhibitions, libraries, lecture series, seminars and collections, which reflects the extensive and almost area-wide cultural offerings in Germany. The establishment of a central German architecture institute and the associated relocation of all existing cultural programs in Germany to one location would weaken the regional identities as well as the independence of the existing architecture institutions.
A more sustainable response to Germany‘s federal system and regional diversity would be to work with existing locations and strengthen them.
competition entry, collaboration with Tuan Nguyen
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