IAAD Unit- Weimar 2011/
The project, undertaken in the Bauhaus- Universität Weimar’s IAAD programme, looks to tackle the concept of creating a high-rise building within a European context. The design draws inspiration from Hans Kolhoff’s 1993 masterplan for Alexanderplatz in Berlin and looks to accommodate a school and a library within a ‘European Skyscraper’.
A solid rectilinear block reasserts the public domain, its prominent entrances drawing in a public which was once lost to the space. It is this continuation of the landscape of Alexanderplatz into the building which forms the main concept of the design. While this landscape works its way up to the tower, a sub-landscape is created below. While library users read, browse and gather in the library spaces above; children explore the cavernous surroundings of the school landscape below. These blocks free up the main body of the school for group functions and events while also performing an important function in maintaining the link between library and school. The blocks puncture through the library landscape creating views from the classrooms down onto the large library learning spaces below.
A connection between pupil and public, between different methods of learning and between two differing architectural spaces. This language of blocks within a landscape is continued up into the tower which houses the library. The blocks in this scenario house the books, with the free landscape wrapping around these.
[Completed in collaboration with Angus Ritchie]