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Pop Architecture//WI 16

  • 2016_WI_401A_Kim_Benjamin_3
  • 2016_WI_401A_Kim_Benjamin_2
  • 2016_WI_401A_Kim_Benjamin_1

Course Description

Students will develop a cultural center at the site of Berlin’s former airport Tempelhof. Design solutions can range from informal interventions fostering the development of bottom-up cultures to high-end projects following models such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Kulturhuset in Stockholm or the Wyly Theater in Dallas.

The Tempelhof airport has a long history as a key site for competing visions of community: as a strategic hub of an ‘Aryan Race’ in the megalomaniac dreams of Germany’s National Socialist Regime in the 1940s, as a foothold of western culture during the cold war in the 1950s and 60s, and after ceasing operations in 2008, as a site of resistance against developers, as Berlin’s largest park and ‘experimental field’ for the city’s theaters, fashion industry, communities of ‘joggers, rollerbladers, kite-flyers, wind-karters, urban gardeners, yoga enthusiasts, hipsters and layabouts’ (The Guardian), and now, in the context of the 2015 European migrant crises, as ’emergency refugee shelter’, holding at least 2,300 people.

And this is the question: Since this year alone, one million refugees from Syria, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Somalia are expected to arrive in Germany, circa 70,000 in Berlin, how can the site become an ‘experimental field’ for the development of new models of community building?