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Robert Venturi

Blog Berlin

A Tale of New Cities

Highlights from Make City in Berlin

  • Make City‚ a new “festival for architecture and urban alternatives” has been taking place all over Berlin since June 11th. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright) 1 / 24  Make City‚ a new “festival for architecture and urban alternatives” has been taking place all over Berlin since June 11th. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright)
  • During the first week, participants took to the runways of the former Tempelhof airfield by bike... (Photo: Fiona Shipwright) 2 / 24  During the first week, participants took to the runways of the former Tempelhof airfield by bike... (Photo: Fiona Shipwright)
  • ...where Ticket B led a tour through various urban gardening... (Photo: © Viviana Abelson) 3 / 24  ...where Ticket B led a tour through various urban gardening... (Photo: © Viviana Abelson)
  • ...and “pioneer” building projects that can be found across the site. (Photo: © Viviana Abelson) 4 / 24  ...and “pioneer” building projects that can be found across the site. (Photo: © Viviana Abelson)
  • Festival-goers later returned to Tempelhof, but this time for a rooftop tour led by Eike Roswag of Ziegert Seiler Roswag, which included a peek inside a perfectly preserved sauna from the 1960s once used by airline staff. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright) 5 / 24  Festival-goers later returned to Tempelhof, but this time for a rooftop tour led by Eike Roswag of Ziegert Seiler Roswag, which included a peek inside a perfectly preserved sauna from the 1960s once used by airline staff. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright)
  • Meanwhile, panel discussions have debated the festival's core themes, such as the “Defining Commons, Designing Commons” session, chaired by Ethel Baraona Pohl. (Photo: © Berlin Camera) 6 / 24  Meanwhile, panel discussions have debated the festival's core themes, such as the “Defining Commons, Designing Commons” session, chaired by Ethel Baraona Pohl. (Photo: © Berlin Camera)
  • During a discussion on “Smart Parks”, Topotek 1’s Martin Rein-Cano talked through the Superkilen project in Copenhagen. (Photo: © Berlin Camera) 7 / 24  During a discussion on “Smart Parks”, Topotek 1’s Martin Rein-Cano talked through the Superkilen project in Copenhagen. (Photo: © Berlin Camera)
  • Co-op project pioneer Christian Schöningh was a participant during a lively panel discussion on issues regarding the sale of Berlin’s public land. 8 / 24  Co-op project pioneer Christian Schöningh was a participant during a lively panel discussion on issues regarding the sale of Berlin’s public land.
  • At the site of the former flower market near the Jewish Museum, the Bauhütte (building hut) opened its doors, designed to facilitate direct participation from local residents on the site’s future development. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright)&l 9 / 24  At the site of the former flower market near the Jewish Museum, the Bauhütte (building hut) opened its doors, designed to facilitate direct participation from local residents on the site’s future development. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright)&l
  • Another blank urban space, the roundabout at Moritzplatz, was also in the spotlight, where ALAS invited Make City visitors to join a participative action intended to demonstrate… (Photo © Viviana Abelson) 10 / 24  Another blank urban space, the roundabout at Moritzplatz, was also in the spotlight, where ALAS invited Make City visitors to join a participative action intended to demonstrate… (Photo © Viviana Abelson)
  • ...the transformative effects of their proposal to reclaim the space at the roundabout’s centre, demarcating the space on the ceiling of the subway below ground… (Photo © Viviana Abelson) 11 / 24  ...the transformative effects of their proposal to reclaim the space at the roundabout’s centre, demarcating the space on the ceiling of the subway below ground… (Photo © Viviana Abelson)
  • ...as well as on the grassy wilderness above ground. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright) 12 / 24  ...as well as on the grassy wilderness above ground. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright)
  • A “Y-Table-Talk” led by Kristien Ring of AA Projects, at the Deutsches Architektur Zentrum debated the future of affordable housing… (Photo: Make City) 13 / 24  A “Y-Table-Talk” led by Kristien Ring of AA Projects, at the Deutsches Architektur Zentrum debated the future of affordable housing… (Photo: Make City)
  • ...whilst in Mitte, a DDR-era, pre-fab apartment was returned to its raw state by WBM Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Berlin-Mitte mbH & Imke Woelk und Partner Architekten. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright) 14 / 24  ...whilst in Mitte, a DDR-era, pre-fab apartment was returned to its raw state by WBM Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Berlin-Mitte mbH & Imke Woelk und Partner Architekten. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright)
  • A little further from the city centre, a tour around the former Beelitz sanatorium explored not only the rich history of the site… (Photo: Fiona Shipwright) 15 / 24  A little further from the city centre, a tour around the former Beelitz sanatorium explored not only the rich history of the site… (Photo: Fiona Shipwright)
  • …both also future plans to turn some of the site’s buildings into living space. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright) 16 / 24  …both also future plans to turn some of the site’s buildings into living space. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright)
  • Kids make great city-makers too, as a detective tour examining different house fronts in Mitte, organised by Kleine Baumeister, found out. (Photo © Veronica Hernandez) 17 / 24  Kids make great city-makers too, as a detective tour examining different house fronts in Mitte, organised by Kleine Baumeister, found out. (Photo © Veronica Hernandez)
  • Architect Arno Brandlhuber took festival-goers on a walk around the gaps and spaces in between buildings in Mitte – what he calls “Option Lots”... (Photo © Viviana Abelson) 18 / 24  Architect Arno Brandlhuber took festival-goers on a walk around the gaps and spaces in between buildings in Mitte – what he calls “Option Lots”... (Photo © Viviana Abelson)
  • ...talking through the potential uses of such examples of urban space. (Photo © Viviana Abelson) 19 / 24  ...talking through the potential uses of such examples of urban space. (Photo © Viviana Abelson)
  • Later in the week he also led a tour around the rather more concrete space of the newly renovated St Agnes church. (Photo © Jacub Cevela) 20 / 24  Later in the week he also led a tour around the rather more concrete space of the newly renovated St Agnes church. (Photo © Jacub Cevela)
  • A boat-tour considered the signifiance of Berlin's waterside commons, during which a discussion ensued on the intense speculation focused upon these sites in recent years. (Photo © Viviana Abelson) 21 / 24  A boat-tour considered the signifiance of Berlin's waterside commons, during which a discussion ensued on the intense speculation focused upon these sites in recent years. (Photo © Viviana Abelson)
  • Back on dry land, a group of urban bee-keepers from Berlin Summit introduced visitors to the bees living in hives atop the cathedral. (Photo © Viviana Abelson) 22 / 24  Back on dry land, a group of urban bee-keepers from Berlin Summit introduced visitors to the bees living in hives atop the cathedral. (Photo © Viviana Abelson)
  • There was even a solstice celebration, where the architects of a new building for LoBe, a residency-led contemporary art space, held a bonfire party at the future site. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright) 23 / 24  There was even a solstice celebration, where the architects of a new building for LoBe, a residency-led contemporary art space, held a bonfire party at the future site. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright)
  • Make City continues until June 28th. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright) 24 / 24  Make City continues until June 28th. (Photo: Fiona Shipwright)

The first ever Make City kicked off in earnest on June 11th and as the new Berlin-based festival for “architecture and urban alternatives” approaches its conclusion this weekend – and there are more than forty events to still check out if you are in the city over the next four days – uncube shares some highlights so far from its inaugural edition.

The constellation of the festival’s ambitious programme of over 120 events has orbited around three central themes: Urban Commons, Urban Open Source, Urban Living & Working and in doing so has lived up to its tagline of “re_sourcing the urban”, with a broad spread of activities encroaching into every nook and cranny of the city’s urban fabric. From the roof of the vast Tempelhof airport hangar (who knew there was a sauna up there?!) right down to the more intimate surroundings of the festival’s HQ at the Czech Centre, a remarkable Brutalist building designed by Věra and Vladimír Machonin in 1978, over 5000 participants have taken up the festival’s invitation to “make city differently”.

Whilst the bulk of activities have taken place within the German capital, the issues addressed are anything but Berlin–specific. The Czech Centre in particular has played host to some lively, critical discussions between locals and international guests on topics encompassing the nature of the commons, smart cities, the future of the maker movement (or maker “process” as UK maker expert Daniel Charny preferred to term it during his presentation), the resilience of urban centres in times of crisis and indeed what other cities could learn about Berlin’s rich – but fragile – heritage when it comes to DIY and self-initiated projects.

Whilst the festival may be about to reach a culmination (check out the festival programme for over forty events during the next four days as well as scores of buildings and architects offices open over the weekend) it appears that the discussions it has instigated will extend far beyond Make City’s official three-week span. We’re looking forward to the next edition already.

Fiona Shipwright

For more on Make City and how the festival came about, read our interview with its founder Francesca Ferguson, by uncube correspondent Ethel Barona Pohl.

Make City: A Festival for Architecture and Urban Alternatives
June 11-28, 2015
Berlin

makecity.berlin

And for more on the fascinating topic of Urban Commons read the uncube special issue on the subject, guest edited by Francesca Ferguson, here.

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