ROSSI - a redevelopment scenario for an unfinished
building in Berlin by Thomas Werner
march 10, 2011
freestyle climbing in an empty building core
urban sand dune in the back of the hulk
All plans, sections and diagrams can be interpret as an optional snapshot to illustrate the balance between existing (gray) and added (white) elements.
student: Thomas Werner
from: university of arts Berlin (UdK)
professor: Adolf Krischanitz, Susanne Hauser
time: presentation January 2008; 4month work period
category: experiment design
Over a period of ten years the unfinished building by architect Aldo Rossi could be seen as a monochrome structural work. The massive tower at the corner marked the northern gateway to the centre of Berlin. Empty parks between spacious prefabricated high-rises from the seventies GDR era frame the immediate surroundings.
The project was originally planned as an office complex and a shopping arcade with a total floor area of 90.000 sqm. In a redevelopment scenario I want to reinterpret this abandoned hulk as a dynamic urban playground and a cultural centre that will generate a new urban potential. Furthermore the building represents a venue of three clashing districts next to the train station Landsberger Allee.
It is an experiment using the ruinous atmosphere of the site as a specific potential in order to interrelate with the evolved infrastructure of the neighbourhood and to give a long-term perspective.
The initial attraction for a "cultural hulk" is ROSSI - a sport and wellness hotel, with up to 200 rooms and 50 suites, various lobbies, beauty and spa centre, sports facilities, clubs and restaurants. Thus the hotel takes advantage of the numerous, still existing sports institutions in the very surroundings on the one hand, but also provides an expandable infrastructure for other public functions such as libraries, cafes, galleries or just vacancy for a emerging subculture on the other hand. The whole conglomerate can be described as a dynamic structure, which organizes themselves in fields of action, intermittent compressions or enlargements within temporary voids.
Such as houses in a house, it becomes a new cultural landscape in the existing ruin which unveils an atmosphere of the unformed in contrast to an accurate urban infrastructure in a sophisticated setting.
A public obstacle course in the backyard links together the different spheres of action, regulates all public entrances as an attempt to balance between the restrictive system of a hotel and the complementary public use. It allows you to simultaneously run a public entertainment program while preserving the intimacy of the hotel.
The entire setting fit in the ruin as a kind of furniture and generates an atmosphere “made in Berlin”.
The special focus of my presentation was set on ten photomontages that illustrate the current conditions of the ruin in interaction with some selected internals. Furthermore the analysis deals with the fine line between authenticity and sophisticated urban romance by generating a specific atmosphere without destroying the fragile structure of the hulk.
The images show rather a grammar of dealing with a ruin than a specific design approach. The state of incompleteness is accepted as a permanent status and as an attractor for various subcultures. After ten years isolated as a sculpture cast in concrete, now a participatory approach enhances a marked-off district in Berlin to a magnet for a sports scene and high society.