with Falk Kagelmacher, architect
Ferropolis/ Gremminer See (Germany), Dec. 12, 2014
[creative waves] process architecture
Many former brown coal-mining pits in this East German area have become lakes with adjoining recreational areas. Our project site at lake Gremmin is part of this region, which strives to create local job opportunities and growth mainly through tourism between UNESCO world heritage sites such as Woerlitzer Park, the Bauhaus at Dessau, Luther´s Wittenberg and the industrial heritage of the area. However, the owners of the lake face a very difficult and complex situation of conflicting local interests, stifling legal restrictions and lack of visionary intent.
Due to the complicated initial situation and in order to foster innovation and unique selling points for the lake, we convinced the clients to start by making the lake a space for experimentation. We will prototype services and architectural interventions with entrepreneurs, hence pursuing a dynamic planning process accounting for change rather than a conventional, determinist masterplanning approach. Rather than designing the architectural, formal solutions, our initial opportunity is here to provide a framework for systemic and flexible long-term development and to design the process in co-creation with all local stakeholders – owners, major event industries, local entrepreneurs and authorities, tourism promotion organisations. In other words, the challenge here is the design and safeguarding of the very decisions and basic conditions, which precede and determine architectural interventions.
We initiated the process last year, now actively involving the community. The main interests of our research on this project are the integrated innovation of planning processes, civic participation and spatial design strategies. In a first step we have proposed a number of crystallization seeds – a number of initial low-investment interventions and spatial experiments that will act as prototypes and catalysts of long-term development. Themes include a renewable energy hub, a food pantry, a camp, a maker´s village and a mobility lab.