July 2016: Conversion Appeals to German Werkbund Planners

The Werk­bund of Bava­ria has offe­red its­elf to the muni­ci­pa­li­ty as a pos­si­ble col­la­bo­ra­ti­on part­ner to tack­le the mam­mo­th task of con­ver­ting the air base. In the most recent mee­ting of the con­ver­si­on com­mit­tee Chris­ti­an Böhm, chair­man of the insti­tu­ti­on, and some of his col­le­agues pre­sen­ted their first ide­as on the pro­ject. The team might be able to give some ide­as, encou­ra­ge and lead expert-level dis­cus­sions and con­tri­bu­te its know-how.

Who or what is the Deut­sche Werkbund?

The Deut­sche Werk­bund (Ger­man Asso­cia­ti­on of Craft­smen) is an asso­cia­ti­on of archi­tects, artists and indus­tria­lists estab­lished in 1907. By its own account, the com­bi­na­ti­on of art, indus­try and crafts paved the way for an inno­va­ti­ve urban buil­ding cul­tu­re and design as well as on over­lap­ping social pro­ces­ses. The asso­cia­ti­on pur­sues its aims through events, excur­si­ons, publi­ca­ti­ons, exhi­bi­ti­ons and exem­pla­ry con­s­truc­tion pro­jects, is non-profit ori­en­ted and its mem­bers do not hold any finan­cial interests.

Why has the Werk­bund offe­red its­elf as a col­la­bo­ra­ti­on partner?

The Fürs­ten­feld­bruck con­ver­si­on appeals to the Werk­bund. The site is an exci­ting chall­enge in terms of its size and loca­ti­on. It is a uni­que pos­si­bi­li­ty to advan­ce the urban deve­lo­p­ment of the town. The aspect of coming to terms with histo­ry is also a cru­cial fac­tor. How can histo­ry be ancho­red in such way that it is still visi­ble once the site’s use is converted.

For that, one has to know the his­to­ric refe­ren­ces, deal with the site-specific iden­ti­ty and prac­ti­ce joined-up thin­king with the neigh­bor­ing com­mu­ni­ties. “You should only orga­ni­ze an urban plan­ning com­pe­ti­ti­on when you know what you want“ says the town coun­cil. It sug­gests that gui­de­lines should be drawn up first. Par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on and inter­me­dia­te acti­va­ti­on were fur­ther key­words on the way to a vibrant new urban quarter.

The Werk­bund has voi­ced its strong inte­rest in pos­si­bly even rea­li­zing a trend­set­ting Werk­bund resi­den­ti­al area on the site. A “Werk­bund Resi­den­ti­al Area“ work group has been estab­lished already.