book editing + photography + research + text
Although most of Inken and Hinrich Baller's buildings were developed within the tight constraints of the social housing program in West Berlin in the 1970s and 1980s, they always offer more than the standard: slenderness, lightness, large balconies, complex spatial relationships across mulitple floors, and outdoor green spaces. With their unconventional residential and public buildings, the Ballers' creations are today as much as ever examples for high-quality and affordable housing and intriguing urban spaces. During visits with current residents of these buildings, photographs of the lively and lived-in architecture were taken. A collection of archive material, original plans and essays complement these images to present a complete picture of these multifaceted buildings.
edited by urban fragment observatory. Berlin 2022. Texts by urban fragment observatory, Turit Fröbe & Christian Kloss. 17 x 24 cm. 544 Pages.
ISBN: 978-3-7533-0052-8 (english edition) ISBN: 978-3-7533-0051-1 (german edition)
exhibition curation + production + design
The exhibition, curated by the Berlin collective ufoufo – urban fragment observatory, stages a sensual revisit to the inhabited spaces: recent interior photographs show filigree, permeability, the integration of common areas into the residential buildings and their unusual floor plan solutions. Accompanied by the audio recordings of today’s residents and archival material, the exhibition documents architecture that has been used, lived in and experienced, posing the question of what today’s housing construction can learn from this open understanding of space.
March 4 – June 26, 2022
low cost bookshelf - a minimum of cuts from standard sized solid pinewood elements and 4mm veneer shelf boards. structure and costs are reduced to a minimum. Adjustable feet for uneven grounds. Lock screws and knotted ropes to reassemble and reuse all parts of the shelf. No glue, no screws.
low cost desk - a minimum of cuts from standard sized solid pinewood elements and 4mm veneer desk top. structure and costs are reduced to a minimum. Adjustable feet for uneven grounds. lock screws and knotted ropes to reassemble and reuse all parts of the desk. no glue, no screws.
photopraphs + research
Berlin is made of islands and seas. Seas are voids and emptiness. Emptiness is not necessarily forests, parks, or nature, it is difference. Cities administration/ authorities do not like emptiness generally because it is something not clearly defined. In this way Berlin is fantastic... we should keep those voids, keep this feeling of freedom.
(excerpt from the upcoming publication of the chair of jean-philippe vassal at the universität der künste berlin)
supervisors: alexandra ranner, jeanne-françoise fischer, jean-philippe vassal, markus bader
What could a dense city with a maximum of balconies, gardens, terraces, accessible roofs and wintergardens look lik? a living space for plants, animals and humans?
the groundfloor is public, the buildings barely touch the ground and leave space for anything to grow. above a hybrid and dense structure, a city in the city, a city of short distance and relations. the house as a little city, providing many things a city needs. a vivid collage of different climates, atmospheres, programs and relations. greywater is filtered in a plant sewage treatment to water the gardens and greenhouses on the roof. rainwater is collected and filtered in swimming basins. every living unit, every staircase is naturaly ventilated. evergreen trees and bushes provide lee. a waterbasin in the courtyard for a humid climate and cool air in summer. movable façades, sliding doors, adapt the relation to the outisde, according to the seasons. every flat has a double orientation for natural cross ventilation, and a multitude of light situations. the heated space can be reduced to a minimum by using wintergardens as thermal buffer & as intermediate climate between out- and inside. balconies provide shadow in summer and serve as immediate relation to the outside. climbing trellis attached to the railings provide living space for animals and plants.
couldn’t we densify the city differently? unsealing ground, improving biodiversity and the city climate, providing living space for multiple species?
four leftover wooden planks from a construction site were transformed into two benches. one plank is cut into four pieces, one plank into two pieces. reversibly connected with bridle joints, to avoid glue and screws.
documentation film & photographs + workshop assitent
Hans-Walter Müller, engineer, architect and artist, belongs to the Art cinétique movement and develops "pneumatic volumes" - material-economical constructions made of plastic that are given shape by air pressure. "Gonflable" is such a volume, cut and glued together from three-colored plastic foil. A fan creates a slight overpressure and thus the tension and stability of the construction, which is additionally weighed down with water bottles. A zip allows access to the transparent, translucent shell, which only gives a vague idea of the roaring hustle and bustle of the big city. This work was created during a workshop with Hans-Walter Müller in the architecture course under the direction of Prof. Jean-Philippe Vassal and was rebuilt for KUNST RAUM STADT at the end of the 2020 summer semester on Ernst-Reuter-Platz. A 2-channel video installation that documents the process of creation is exhibited inside.
documentation - les gonflables - (7min)
photographs + research
photographs and drawings of modern masterpieces for the upcoming publication from the chair of jean-philippe vassal at the universität der künste berlin.
In a former GDR lightbulb factory in a small town in the thuringian forest, which has been closed for 30 years, collected mirrors, which were left in the factory building were placed in a way to reflect the sunlight into the darkest windowless rooms in the basement. These former storage rooms have no electricity. Only some old wooden shelfs are left. The reflected sunlight brightens these dark storage rooms and supplies some plastic flowers, which were also produced in the factory until the 1990ies, with natural sunlight. The reflected light passes five mirrors and connects two rooms. Walking through the installation, the eyes need to adapt to the darkness, to be able to see the fragile rays of light and some found objects. Following the light into the dark storage rooms you reach the last object. if you now look into this last mirror you can see the outside and the sunlight.
Ein Ort der so glatt und kahl scheint, das alles vergängliche und flüchtige an ihm abperlt. Ich beschreibe das flüchtige, das nicht fest an dem Ort ist. Alles bewegliche und kurzweilig verharrende scheint fremd zu sein, temporär. Durchgangsort. Nichts lädt zum verweilen. 17 Geschosse 18.850 m2 Geschossfläche 69m Höhe 6 Geschosse 10.500 m2 Geschossfläche 23m Höhe
What we find in Europacity is an outdated masterplan, which builds mainly offices, private courtyards, streetscapes without variety, closed groundfloors and which lacks mixture. While keeping what is planned, how and where can we densify Europacity to create more space for living and improve spatial qualities at the same time?