Deutschlandscape: epicentres at the periphery : German Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2004 : 9th International Architecture Exhibition
The German pavilion at the 9th Venice Architecture Biennale offers an overview of more than 35 contemporary architectural projects in Germany which have manifested in peripheral urban areas, suburban spaces and de-industrialized zones. The projects reveal the transformation and reactivation of banal everyday architecture--business parks, switching stations, water purification plants, and strictly coded and conventional housing types--to open up a new perception of the "deutschlandscape." Here, architectural norms are reworked and given a new aesthetic twist through ironic self-reflection. These built projects by a critical young generation of German architects reveal highly innovative use of new materials, generate suburban "plug-ins" (temporary and mobile architecture) and skillfully rework the familiar to create solutions for hitherto underrepresented yet vital areas on the urban fringe. Accompanying essays and interviews reveal the personal narratives behind the architecture. Contributions include: "urban therapist" Sonja Beeck on dealing with the psychological dimensions of shrinking cities in the former GDR; artist and urbanist Kai Vockler on the German psychoscape; Omar Akbar of the Bauhaus Dessau on the wider implications of urban sprawl; Peter Cook on tuning suburbia; Angelika Fitz on strategic answers to restrictive building regulations; Peter Wilson on the marketing of place; and Rudolf Stegers on multi-layered meanings behind the architectural image.
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