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Berlin Architexchange

Part 1 Project 2001
Franziska Sieck
University of Plymouth | UK
This project attempts to return to the city of Berlin one of its central but neglected sites, near the former Wall. The proposed site paints a colourful picture within the frame of the existing city, offering a range of diverse urban experiences, inviting metropolitan dwellers to appropriate its public spaces. The ArchiTEXchange is a collage of activities and places; a small, vibrant city with squares, buildings, streets, crossroads; and a snapshot of the life of young architects, reflecting the multiple destinations and directions of their lives and ambitions.

Long horizontal walls initiate a dialogue with the existing vertical elements of the site, define a pattern of movement, guide and organise, stimulating a constant flow of space and energy between inside and outside. At the knots of the network of walls, distinct spaces emerge. Colour acts as an ordering device, inviting a reading of the site from the opposite side of the Spree. The new site opens a walkway along the river edge, and acts as a gateway to this forgotten part of the city. Its built elements slowly spread across Berlin; the toilet cubicles become public; coloured walls make young architects visible; the city is brought back to the site.

Franziska Sieck

Franziska's work is characterized by dedication, consistent development of ideas and spatial forms in response to contextual issues, and adoption of minutely considered design tactics which address the multiple scales of the urban site.

Her design enquiry into the constantly changing texture of Berlin resulted in a proposal which looks forward, while critically addressing the traces of the past; employs strangely familiar building blocks which are made strange to subtly undermine the power of last century's modernist architectural iconography. Through an innovative interpretation of the brief and its spatial possibilities, Franziska offers the city a new site, rather than merely a new building, a design-site-in-progress or matrix for continuous architectural experimentation.

Her ArchiTEXchange consists of a dynamic ensemble of spatial experiences and urban elements which extend beyond the given site, and intend to stimulate a continuous re-thinking of the city and architecture of Berlin. At once the site and outcome of architectural activity, Franziska's non-finite set of spaces becomes an urban landscape in transition. Setting in motion spatial transformation through occupation, she stages a set of ambiguities between external and internal, public and private, familiar and strange, transparent and opaque, domestic and civic, open and enclosed, central and peripheral, intimate and exposed.

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