How can we adapt our built environment?

Building redevelopment is of increasing importance. Already today, conversions, alterations and repairs account for more than half of the construction volume in Germany.¹

Changing uses, both demographic and structural, and the use of new technologies often require structural adaptation of existing buildings. However, not only conversions, but also every new building changes its immediate surroundings. The appearance of streets, entire districts and landscapes are constantly changing. With every intervention in the built environment, the old is changed and supplemented with the new. This raises a central question: How does the newly implemented relate to the old?

To systematically record and understand the existing buildings is a first basic requirement for being able to update the old. It is only when viewing, photographing and documenting that the characteristics of our built environment become apparent, revealing both quality and potential.

Joans Hamberger’s master’s thesis “Sieben Narren” (“Seven Fools”) uses drawing and photography to examine 102 places in Munich and attempts to use various types of micro-architecture to bring back derelict urban spaces to social acceptance. The new appears independently as an architectural fool and includes the abandoned spaces as background in the intervention.

As soon as we change, we have to ask ourselves what kind of transformation we want to allow, and which buildings are so important for our generation that we want to preserve them. Dealing with historical buildings, buildings of the modern age, reconstruction and even recent history will continue to occupy us. The way we deal with the existing today will allow one thing for future generations: to draw conclusions about the constitution of the present time. – Mirko from the #AJA20Team

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