Author Archives: urbantekstur

Snøhetta and Alvar Aalto: The Social Democratic Heritage in Architecture

Scandinavian architecture has been associated with straight lines, tranquility and democracy. Further, it has tried to define itself as a social democratic architecture, from the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, over Arne Jacobsen and BIG, to the Norwegian Snøhetta. Claiming to have the same political frame, their works differentiate widely in form and size. What does […]

Everybody is Talking About Biking

The Biking Discussion is celebrating one of its peaks around Europe’s different capitols. In London, Mayor Boris Johnson just launched a plan for £913m to improve biking habits of the Londoners. From the Dutch model, Johnson wants to build a crossrail for bikes and “de-Lucra-fy” the way of biking. In other words, biking should not […]

Easter Special #2: Maria, Königin des Friedens by Gottfried Böhm

During Easter, I took time to discover the hidden concrete sanctuaries of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. On Easter sunday, we drove by Neviges and had a look at their church of pilgrimage “Maria, Königin des Friedens” built in brutalist style by the German architect Gottfried Böhm in 1968. Böhm’s construction represents the idea of the church as […]

Easter Special #1: Bruder Klaus Feldkapelle by Peter Zumthor

During Easter, I took time to discover the hidden concrete sanctuaries of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. On a cold March midday, we arrived at Bruder Klaus Feldkapelle. Erected in the middle of a bare field, one has to cross over a large area of land to reach the chapel. It is planned and built by Swiss architect […]

Walter Benjamin: Winterabend

Manchmal nahm mich an Winterabenden meine Mutter zum Kaufmann mit. Es war ein dunkles, unbekanntes Berlin, das sich im Gaslicht vor mir ausbreitete. Wir blieben im alten Westen, dessen Straßenzüge einträchtiger und anspruchsloser waren als die später bevorzugten. Die Erker und Säulen gewahrte man nicht mehr deutlich, und in die Fassaden war Licht getreten. Lag […]

Review Kultur:Stadt

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the exhibition Kultur:Stadt at Akademie der Künste. The exhibition has quickly become the talk of the town and not without reason. Kultur:Stadt is interactive and communicative, but in its eagerness to succeed and exceed the limits of traditional curatorial practice, it on the one hand comes to […]

Wohnen statt Beten: Freiburger Kirche St. Elisabeth wird umgebaut

Wohnen statt Beten: Freiburger Kirche St. Elisabeth wird umgebaut In the German city Freiburg, a decision has been made to redesign the church of the Zähringen congregation, St. Elisabeth, into new housing. The church of massive concrete was designed by Rainer Disse in 1965 and manifests an example of sacral brutalistic architecture. The congregation did […]

Wohnen in Berlin #2: The Concept of Pecha Kucha in Politics

Pecha Kucha is originally a format for “informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas”. In the process of developing the Stadtentwicklungsplan “StEP Wohnen” for Berlin, the Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt used this rather innovative concept to develop interdisciplinary discussion. To evaluate this interesting step of the Senate, I […]

Wohnen in Berlin: A Mismatch Between Rhetoric and Practice

“Berlin is attractive. Berlin is growing. Berlin needs flats“. Such buzzwords are very popular in the present debate on the further urban development of the German capitol. Under the main theme “living” and the parole “Berlin braucht mehr Wohnungsbau für alle”, the Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt prepares Berlin for the upcoming Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA) […]

Neuer Bildungscampus Efeuweg: Ein Campus Rütli für die Gropiusstadt

Neuer Bildungscampus Efeuweg: Ein Campus Rütli für die Gropiusstadt An interesting educational project in Gropiusstadt, which is connected to Quartiersmanagement.

Stadt und Engagement: Berlin kehrt sich einen Dreck

Stadt und Engagement: Berlin kehrt sich einen Dreck With Berlin being the city of parties, it is apparently also that of dirt. The city’s dirt problem is the theme of the article in today’s Tagespiegel. To fight the problem, it spots not the failing financial situation as the key but presents a different, and more […]

Beautiful Copenhagen anno 1937

Writing about biking culture and feeling a bit homesick, I feel that it is time to share this video. A MGM Production from 1937 about the idyllic, yet innovative, Copenhagen.

Participative Urban Planning

It will be the weekend of participative urban planning. Not only a project in spe but also a success story: BVG’s new initiative of customer participation: It is described well in this article:!110563/ ——- Partizipation: “Gute Dinge brauchen lange” A good example of parcipative urban planning and, a positive piece of news in […]

Concrete Aesthetics #3

Brutalism in black/white: Pictures from the Czech Embassy in Berlin, Wilhelmstraße 44, Berlin. Architects: Věra und Vladimír Machonin together with Klaus Pätzmann. Copyright Sofie Krogh Christensen equals Masterplan for Bikes !

Apropros my article on, this comment in Berliner Morgenpost (03.01.13) could be one of the follow-up initiatives: Then the Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt could get their quieter city and the citizens a better one.