ARCH+ features 35: Legislating Architecture
What are the conditions under which architecture takes place? Regulations are frequently considered unavoidable by planners and designers, which are best dealt with by interpretation. Can these regulations also be viewed as instruments, rather than just as impediments? What opportunities do they open up? An evening attended by an international discussion group in Berlin's Cultural Forum was dedicated to just this topic.
Social scientist and management consultant Markus Rosenthal compared the design possibilities open to Berlin's architects with the freedom afforded to their colleagues in the USA, the UK or France. German politics has so far failed to grasp that architecture takes place in an international context. This makes it a matter of some urgency to step up the dialogue between politicians, architects and investors.
As Imke Mumm from the Technical University of Munich made clear in her talk, construction projects and architecture impact on society in a way which is often protracted and almost inevitably profound. This highlights the urgent need for the public to be more closely involved in this type of project than has been the case hitherto. What exactly are the adjusting screws which will open up greater planning freedom? Where could changes be most effectively made?
The Berlin-based architect Frank Barkow views the existing structural conditions as a challenge to the architect, who must find suitable technologies and materials to guarantee both feasibility and public safety. In the second part of his talk, Barkow talked about how he dealt with the local development plan in his large-scale Berlin project "Hotel Estrel".
The use and occupation of public space by migrants was the topic broached by curator and architecture critic Jochen Becker. The latest migrant protests met with a lot of support from Berlin's population. Becker considers this "Right to the City" as a task which transcends national boundaries.
© 2020 S. Siedle & Söhne OHG