[wu:nu:] Allotment City

BArch3 Studio

Peter Leeb | Markus Vogl

From Mono-Use To Multi-Use

The Reality of Postwar Architecture

Why does it not seem unsettling when we assume that the almost exclusive way to deal with postwar buildings today is to tear them down in order to create “new” areas for city development? Are we not surprised time and again once these new “developments” are put in place, by their hermetic nature, by their pseudo public characteristics and by their generic qualities as a whole? Is it the “erasure” of historical evidence that is disturbing? Is the act of demolishing a somehow perceived betrayal of a utopia in which we also were meant to partake? Or is it just the generic non-aging material quality of these new-built arrangements that makes us feel as if something has been irrevocably taken away from us?

These buildings are for the most part not given a fair chance in time to develop, to receive change, to adapt, in short: to exhaust themselves to the max.


The Reality of the WU: We have found an enormous arrangement of built parts: slabs, columns, beams, shafts, entranceways, walkways, escape passageways, passages and corridors, vestibules and lobbies, patios and terraces, service spaces and serviced spaces.

We have found access and egress spaces, connecting, separating, and dividing spaces, unifying and isolating spaces, open and closed spaces.
We have found gigantic caves where other buildings have only basements.
We have found spaces of all kinds and of all sizes.
We have scrutinized this mountain of built matter mentally, we have found out its strengths of which we have seen few, and we have discovered its manifold weaknesses.
We feel the urge to dilute the monotony of single use, and reclaim this land for the riches of city life. 

Contingent Design Steps: The concrete structure - the slabs, columns and beams - stripped bare of its entire cladding as well as of all mechanical equipment, this shell construction will serve as the structural and constructive point of departure. On the other side we shall reconnect the different forms of use that have been spread throughout the city and beyond its limits by the means of modern transportation: thus we shall reverse the dogma of functional separation.


The original set of the modern types of use - dwelling, work, circulation, recreation - will be re-implanted into the complex, however as a multi-layered mix and with regard to a revisited analysis of the quarter’s profile of use. The city planning goals as laid down in the STEP 05 will be considered in order to embed the project into a larger context. We shall see that architecture plays an important role in providing sustainable solutions within urban strategies.

A 1:200 working model will serve as the site for the individual interventions on a conceptual level. The design proposals will be partially yet exemplary developed in larger scale models and drawings. Certain project parts will be highlighted, alternative solutions will be tested. Problems of appropriate intervening into and sustainably adding to an existing structure are at the core of this studio. Special attention will be given to the sustainable potentials of material use and construction methods.

There will be a wide variety of projects within one large project. Each student will choose a specific segment of the building in order to implement specific programs depending on city demand and with respect to the immediate neighbours. The creation of neighbourhood qualities will be of paramount significance to the project.
Field trips regarding the topic of renovating postwar architecture shall complement the studio work and provide a valid link to the practical field of architecture.