attb - atelier to the bone

Pattern for progress . Europan 12 . Kaiserslautern

Winner . attb - atelier to the bone

We are living in a period with a rapidly changing paradigm. Our possibilities in terms of technology appear to be infinite, while at the same time the world is becoming more and more aware of the finiteness of the resources our society has been built upon. Looking back, we need to realize that the past period of rapid industrialisation, with maximisation as the main goal, has been incredibly useful to get us where we are right now, but in this period of change we need to realize that an open minded view on the future is needed.

On Transformation
In the future we have to become a society that does not decrease our prospects and deplete our resources. We face a period where sustainability and resilience have to become our core values towards the environment.
So the question is not merely what to do with the Pfaff- area, but: how can we realize the rebirth of a characteristic area according to the values of the future but with the possibilities of today? Part of the answer is unchaining conventions.
Where we have gotten used to urban planning as a representation of a final situation, it is necessary to realize that we actually never face a situation where a plan finds its ‘final form’. By the time a part of a plan is realized, the changed situation gives us new information about possible improvements and new demands of people involved. That makes the focus on a perfect stationary situation useless. Urban planning should always focus on a line over time, rather than reaching a certain point in time. Designing the image becomes designing the process.
The essence of this process lies in creating possibilities for everybody to discover their full potential. In that matter it is useless to create a beautiful and hard-to-realize image, as it is in no single way an answer to the questions we are facing today.
Our current financial, ecological and social situation changes our values. More and more people want to take matters in their own hands and create their own environment. There is a growing amount of ambitious people with possibilities and ideas that are eager to indulge themselves to a new but characteristic environment.
The solution is to facilitate them. Creating value is not depending on the value of future property, nor depending on the value we allocate to existing structures. True value is created through the connection between people and their environment and through the constant adaptation by facilitating their ideas. The more enterprising and involved the first inhabitants can be, the more self-sustaining and resilient a new area will become.
We introduce a growth model: a very systematic approach that gradually becomes the ultimate synergy of the cultural and industrial heritage with the people and ideas of today and the future.

On Strategy
In order to realize a healthy mixture between creating a maximum of chances and realizing an environment with a clear structure, the playing field and scope of possibilities wherein everybody operates is essential. First of all five different areas are defined based upon their existing qualities. With these qualities programmatic possibilities are matched and their development is allowed, not allowed, negotiable or encouraged in that area. These programmatic possibilities are related to working, living, leisure, gastronomy or traffic and combine a day and a night function into one. This way space and time is saved. The next step is to define maximum and minimum building volumes, ground space and floor space indexes for the development of this functions.
These development take place within existing buildings or take the existing structure as a starting point for a step by step development of new buildings within either old or new structures with. It is defined which buildings lend themselves best to be developed step by step. Some buildings are simply too dangerous and dilapidated to use, some others only need minor adjustment. To counter this variety in building qualities multiple steps of deconstruction are defined. One ore multiple steps can transform a dilapidated building to something useful from which the area benefits.
For the development of new building in the useful halls, these are divided in plots based on the size of the grid. They can be developed either plot by plot, or by connecting a few plots for a bigger building volume. It is required that a public route on the plot that connects 3 out of 4 corners to neighboring plots. That makes the whole hall permeable from all sides, no matter how the plots are connected.
The development of these plots is awarded a ground and floor space index bonus when certain demands are met. The demands will benefit both the development itself and the area as a whole, for instance increasing public space or providing a water buffer. The demands can be changed when needed to further developments.

On Flow
Everything is constantly on the move. In the never static flow of time, people change the location of their home and seen from the perspective of areas, they constantly house different groups of people over time.
Some people want extreme freedom in creating their home, like the below-mentioned trendsetters and entrepreneurs; others expect more luxury and perfection. Some people prefer to explore a place when a place is not inhabited yet; others prefer to wait until a place is already discovered and cultivated.
In fact we suggest accepting the natural flow of human movement but slightly tune this flow to accelerate the process of the area becoming part of the collective memory, by introducing functions, possibilities and events that attract the diff

On Pfaff
The Pfaff-area lends itself perfectly for the gradual development. The existing buildings in the heart of the area form a good starting point, and the structure of the bigger halls around the centre will be used from the start for a plot-by-plot transformation, realized by entrepreneurs, educational institutions and high-tech companies.
The existing footprint of the buildings will be maintained, and the accessibility will gradually improve. People by foot, by bike and e-bike get multiple entrances, to connect the area with the surrounding districts, and cars get a clear entrance but will be excluded from the heart of the area. Parking places will be realized underneath the new structures around the edge of the area and in the heart of the site. The latter are only to be used by residents and are only accessible during certain moments.
Result of this gradual development is a mixture between education, business and government, that creates an environment with informal and bottom-up connections between people and groups. Another result of this approach is a 24/7 liveliness, because the area houses a lot more than just dwellings or businesses. New inhabitants all benefit from this lively environment.

design team: Jeroen VAN AERLE, Beerd GIETELING, Philippe ROL, Jeroen

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