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The Dessau Effect

Award category
Regaining a sense of belonging
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NEW EUROPEAN BAUHAUS RISING STARS: concepts or ideas submitted by young talents (aged 30 or less)
Project title
The Dessau Effect
Full concept/idea title
Normal Legacy ——The different face of the wall

By scattering workshop/pavilions along the Red Thread landscape - the studio’s primary assignment - our intention is to circulate tourism throughout the city, amending the lopsided impact of “the Bilbao Effect,” in which a major cultural institution (like Dessau’s new Bauhaus Museum) pumps the local economy but does little to improve social life for local residents.

What is the geographical scope of your concept/idea?
Does your concept/idea address mainly urban or rural issues?
Mainly urban
Does your concept/idea refer to a physical transformation of the built environment or other types of transformations?
It refers to a physical transformation of the built environment ('hard investment')
Has your concept/idea benefited from EU programmes and/or funds?
Has your concept/idea won an EU prize?
How did you hear about the New European Bauhaus Prizes ?
Social media
On whose behalf are you submitting the application?
As an individual
Please provide a summary of your concept/ idea

As state housing policy in socialist East Germany, postwar architects and engineers developed the Plattenbau (panelized building system) to mass produce apartment housing from easily assembled, repetitive, prefabricated concrete panels. This type of construction redefined cities in war-torn Eastern Europe with ubiquitous social housing estates. After the fall of the Soviet-aligned East German government, Plattenbau housing slabs have been retrofitted with exterior insulation panels and new mechanical and interior amenities to bring them up to more modern standards. In cities subject to a decline in population, like Dessau, decrepit or vacant Plattenbau housing is being demolished. The “Dessau effect” program for urban renewal builds upon research and planning developed by the Bauhaus Foundation for the 2010 International Building Exhibition (IBA). Confronted with Dessau’s declining population, vacant housing stock, and dilapidated industrial buildings, planners devised a renewal strategy dubbed: “City Islands: Urban Cores and Landscape Zone.” Through negotiations with banks that owned foreclosed properties and land swaps with owners, the city acquired decayed structures and tagged them for demolition.Organizing the kiosk site calls for another cultural appropriation, this one involving transferring Bauhaus graphics to landscape design. Much of the Green Ribbon is flat and relatively featureless: indeed, this is one of its problems. This project want to devise a landscape design that accommodates movement from the Red Thread to the kiosk site, public assembly and seating and which gathers the space around the kiosks to establish place identity. Generate a landscape vocabulary that involves creative translation rather than direct transfer.

Please indicate the main themes of your concept/idea with 5 key words
Normal Legacy
Panel from Plattenbau
Against War
Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of environmental sustainability (including circularity) and how these would be met.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

To address the problem of demolished Plattenbau panels wasted as landfill, the standardized assembly system for modular kiosks will be fabricated from recycled concrete fragments. We may reassemble panels retrieved from deconstructed housing blocks, cut the panels into new forms, or create new assembly units formed from an aggregate made of pulverized panels recycled in a concrete mix like lightweight, foamed AAC (autoclaved aerated concrete).Abandoned walls are reorganized and given new functions to be reused in the city.

Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of aesthetics and quality of experience beyond functionality and how these would be met.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

It's part of the city.
From a distance, you see a small pavilion that reflects light, and underneath it stand sculptural walls that twist and interlock, defining a different space to accommodate people's behavior. People are like actors on the stage, engaging and interacting with the walls. Going down the stairs in the pavilion, one comes to the most spectacular part of the whole structure. The three-story high wall, like a monument, speaks of the traces of past life and history of the land. Graffiti, wallpaper, and various textures form the understanding of the past of this land. Here, we can touch the history.

Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of inclusion (equal opportunities, public participation, citizen engagement, co-design, universal design, accessibility, affordability, etc.) and how these would be met.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

The everyday spaces in which people live are the building's constituent elements. Unlike other buildings with strong interventions. The pavilion itself is made up of the daily life of the residents. Without the subjective design of the architect, the residents shape the public space of the city with their lives.

Please explain how these three dimensions would be combined in your concept/idea.
Please highlight how this approach can be exemplary

It is a comprehensive building consisting of everyday relics. There is a strong emphasis on social continuity and the participation and interaction of community residents.

Please highlight the innovative character of the concept/idea as compared to mainstream practices in the field of the concept/idea.

A carefully designed program of “creative destruction” produced a new greenbelt called “the Green Ribbon.” It is traversed by “the Red Thread” (Roter Faden): a 2.5 meter-wide path for pedestrians and bicycles. Intended as a circuit ringing the city center, the Red Thread is marked with signage marking Dessau’s heritage and historic structures. The Green Ribbon also forms a boundary zone redefining existing urban districts that now comprise an archipelago of “City Islands.” 

Conceived not as a traditional park but as a more indeterminate space embracing the uncertainty and contingency of future urban redevelopment, land within the Green Ribbon can be appropriated by citizens for agricultural, recreational, and other uses. Despite Dessau’s astute response to the challenge of revitalizing a rust belt town faced with population loss -- a predicament of aging industrial cities around the world -- the redevelopment plan has stalled. Today, much of the open space carved out by strategic demolition remains unused and appears abandoned. 

Please detail the general plans that you have for the further development, promotion and/or implementation of your concept/idea.

This is a conceptual proposal, and we will go to Dessau in the next few days to conduct a field survey and further judge the feasibility of the proposal. We also contacted the Bauhaus faculty and staff for some help.

Imagine that your idea/concept is awarded in the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2022. What kind of initiatives would you take throughout the following year (June 2022- June 2023)

Whether I win the prize or not, I will be going to Europe for the next year to do research and study, and to learn more about the built environment and the things behind the humanities through travel and work. This award will also inspire me to be an active designer in society.

By ticking this box, you declare that you are not in in one or more of the exclusion situations foreseen under Article 136 of the Financial Regulation.
By ticking this box, you declare that all the information provided in this form is factually correct, that you assume sole liability in the event of a claim relating to the activities carried out in the framework of the contest, that the proposed concept/idea has not been proposed for the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2022 in any other category or strand and that it has not been subject to any type of investigation, which could lead to a financial correction because of irregularities or fraud.
By submitting your application, you guarantee that you are the author or have the rights to proceed with the application and to authorise the use of the project, concept, idea, and that you have obtained any necessary consents, licenses or assignments from third parties and included copyright notices when necessary.
By submitting your application, you understand that all the applications that meet the eligibility requirements will be shared for the purposes of the selection processes, and notably published on the secured platform and for the purposes of the promotion of these on the New European Bauhaus website and/or other European Commission communication channels. In this sense, the applications would be widely available. Applicants should ensure that they present their ideas, concepts, projects, in such a way that they could be shared without giving rise to intellectual property related concerns. If your submission is selected as one of the finalists, it will additionally be shared for the purpose of the public vote that will take place. The European Union is granted a licence to use and share your application with the general public and the official external experts for the purposes of the selection process, including the voting. The European Union has the right to use the images and visual materials and the description provided in the application for communication purposes related to the contest and beyond. Rights granted comprise the right to store, reproduce, display, publish and communicate or distribute copies in electronic or digital format, including, but not only, through the internet. Unless you have disclosed your name, the European Commission has no obligation to share your name when using or disseminating your contribution to the public. The European Union cannot be held responsible in case any submitted idea, project, concept is found to infringe third parties rights. The European Union shall be neither responsible for the use that third parties may do of the applications or related content.


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