ARCH+ features 8: Launch of the Experimentdays
Architects from Berlin and Vienna met to discuss new approaches in urban housing construction at the eighth in a series of open discussions. The event staged in the newly renovated and re-opened 21er Haus Museum in Vienna also marked the launch of the Experimentdays event which looked at the topic of "cooperative urban development".
Christian Schöningh of Die Zusammenarbeiter reported on the processes of emancipation and acquisition of spaces in Berlin. For Schöningh, communal construction is about far more than just "creating affordable housing". He is appealing for a movement away from niches and towards a greater focus on renovation projects.
Andreas Rumpfhuber of Expanded Design in Vienna talked about the age-old tradition of living from the viewpoint of urban development. He elaborated on the distinction between "communal construction" and "communal living" and recommended the formation of residential groups - not just the construction of "nests for like-minded people".

During the following discussion, Nikolaus Kuhnert, Editor-in-Chief of ARCH+, summarized what is evidently no different in Vienna than it is in Berlin: "Building communities produce innovations which would normally never be implemented in conventional housing construction". This makes the role of events like Experimentdays all the more important.
As CEO Gabriele Siedle explained, Siedle's support for ARCH+ features is prompted by the opportunity this affords to learn from the current debate surrounding architecture: We are heavily involved in the transition between the inside and the outside and the question of how the significance of this threshold will change in the future.

For Adolf Krischanitz, who was prevented for health reasons from taking part in the event, the relationship between the wall and the opening represents a decisive architectural parameter: "The constitution and conditioning of architecture take place at its material boundaries. The edge, the surround, the enclosure - all of these define the central content, the space itself. This means that the wall and the space are each conditional upon the other. Wall versus opening: This is the nub of all discussion around architectural space; it extends beyond the confines of functional need. The relationship between the wall and the opening at the same time sets out a parameter for the social, cultural and technical standard which a building possesses or to which it aspires."
The Austrian Pavilion constructed for the Brussels World Fair in 1958 was designed by Karl Schwanzer and has been used since 1962 as a Museum of 20th Century Art. Following extensive renovation work by the architectural bureau Adolf Krischanitz, the 21er-Haus (previously called 20er-Haus) was reopened in mid-November 2011.
The inaugural exhibition "Great Prospects!" addressed the new venue and its history, raising questions about the social significance of the museum. Alongside changing exhibitions of contemporary art, the 21er-Haus is also home to the collection of the Wotruba Foundation and the Federal Government's Artoteque.

© 2020 S. Siedle & Söhne OHG