With the powerful metaphor “an archipelago of architectures in a green lagoon of nature” Oswald Mathias Ungers described his project for West Berlin, while broadly questioning the future of the form of the contemporary city. The summer school The Urban Villa, held in Berlin in 1977, provided an inquiry into this question. The outcomes of those projects and the studies carried out ten years earlier – already foreseen in his essay Großformen im Wohnungsbau – tried to define a “third way” for the future of this fragmented city, no longer able to give a significance to the parts it was made of.
The definition of the idea of Stadtinsel itself stood its time, nonetheless. It still offers new categories to read and design the multifaceted contemporary city and its dialectic essence. Urban islands deal with inter-scalar urban themes: in between urban texture and autonomy, in between a building and a city-like building, in between multiplicity and unity.
The seminar aims to investigate furthermore the idea of Stadtinsel and, therefore, reread the potential influences this concept had in some projects designed by OMU.
Employing different instruments of analysis (ideographs, figure-ground plans, critical redrawing, models) students will “dissect” these case studies –– in order to understand the compositional and spatial techniques behind their conception.
Is there an ontological distinction between an urban island and an urban block? Which paradigms determine an urban island? Can these paradigms become tools for designing and reading a “dialectic city”?
The course will start on Thursday, 21.04.2022 at 11.00 am in presence (room to be announced).
Regular weekly meetings during the semester will take place every Thursday from 11.00 to 13.00.
Tasks will be carried out by groups of 2-3 students.
Module: Forschungsfeld M. Sc. - Sailing the Stadtarchipel. Anatomy of the urban island
Module Code: 21.00164