Monday, June 06, 2016

Venice – Giardini: The 15th International Architecture Biennale - Germany

Photograph courtesy The German Pavilion

The German Pavilion

Making Heimat. Germany, Arrival Country
Commissioner: Peter Cachola Schmal, DeutschesArchitekturmuseum (DAM) Curator: Oliver Elser, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM)
Exhibitor: Something Fantastic

Germany. Four large openings in the walls of the German Pavilion have transformed it into an open house. Over 48 tons of brick were removed from the landmark-protected walls. The pavilion is open. Germany is open. Last year, Germany’s borders were kept open to receive over a million refugees. Although currently the EU borders are largely closed for refugees, the gesture of opening the house is a call to rethink Germany as a welcoming nation for immigrants.

The Arrival City is on the Ground Floor
The Success of a Neighborhood is Determined by the Availability of Small-Scale Spaces on the Ground Floor

The exhibition was inspired by Doug Saunders’s book, Arrival City: How the Largest Migration in History is Reshaping Our World. Using examples from Germany’s Arrival Cities, a shift in perspective on immigrant districts—a shift that is also applicable to Germany. Although these districts are typically characterized as “problem areas,” they offer residents and new arrivals the most important prerequisites of an Arrival City: affordable housing, access to work, small-scale commercial spaces, good access to public transit, networks of immigrants from the same culture, as well as a tolerant attitude that extends to the acceptance of informal practices.

The Arrival City is a City Within a City
Immigrants look for Opportunities in Areas of Urban Density

Germany. Using specific examples, the German Pavilion presents the architectural qualities of buildings in an exhibition room dedicated to this particular construction task. The examples have been chosen from the database. This growing archive of realized and under-construction refugee buildings across Germany and Europe offers a comprehensive picture of the current reality, and is an exhortation to step up and meet the dire need for affordable and high-quality residential space. Indeed, this is one of the central prerequisites for a successful integration process.

The German Pavilion

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