Architecture/Urbanism Architecture historian Mariana Celac, Michael Hofstätter (Pauhof) and Horia Marinescu with students of the University of Architecture Bucharest.
Wednesday, May 25
20.00 panelpresentations and discussion of all workshop participant
Thursday, May 26
Saturday, May 28
11-14.00 Interpretation, Conclusion
MONUMENTALITY AND AMBIGUITY
Contradiction or Correlating Extremes in Architecture
The economy of Romania booms. The joining of the EU in two years stimulates the globalising of the country and brings international investments. Bucharest is becoming an East-European metropole, for a second time in its history a Paris of the East.
Company headquarters, banks, hotels, megastores, event centers etc. besiege the city fabric. This development should not lead to another weakening of the historically grown city. Thus it is necessary to use the empty spaces that the Conducator cut deeply in the structure of the city, to occupy them as potential locations for the capitalistically motivated, future large scale projects. The nascent duality, the strangeness and the existing gigantic scale have to be accepted, i.e. to be relativised through the confrontation of the different worlds that clash together. All earnings that will be collected by the municipality through the selling of new parcels, will be used to compensate the expropriations done by Ceausescu, for the repair and the spatial cross-linking of the interstitial backyard spaces behind the boulevard facades, for the financing of alternative social dwelling, for cultural and social architecture and for urban renewal. This financing system has already been used in Vienna, at the time of the construction of the Wiener Ringstrasse, in a successful way, though with less social ambitions.
The whole empty area around the House of the People, now called Parliament Palace, is at your disposal. Ceausescus megastructure is the starting point. Respectless spatial connections are surely desired, as long as their justification is exclusively conceptual. Propositions should be based on idea and concept rather than on formal and aesthetical considerations. The latter would not be advisable, because future investors accept only open playfields.
The minimal height for the proposed structures should be equal to the height of the palace. Only the connections to the surrounding old city fabric should be scaled down. The boulevard axis should be left empty, as a public space for everyone. Contrasts should be preferred to an artificial harmony. Not the stiff monumental pose should be searched for (we already have it), but the revitalisation of an urbanly indifferent area of questionable symbolic power. The new, as far as possible free standing megastructure must be able to interweave urban processes, to superpose them, and at least to imagine the city (urbanity).
Types of representation:
Ideas matter, therefore any representation is permitted that leads to a clear idea: photo, collage, rendering, sketches, models, video and/or text. But the city as a whole should always be borne in mind and be present in the spatial reference field of the project.
Michael Hofstätter (Pauhof) and Horia Marinescu
Location: University of Architecture "Ion Mincu" (Str. Academiei 18-22), etajul 1, Sala de Consiliu