03.11.2022: Return of the Werkstattgespräche

Next Thursday, 3rd November 2022, we will kick off the workshop lecture series “Demolition Man – Agenda #keepingwhatsgood” with a screening of the film (1993).

Why Demolition Man?
Over the past few years, building using the existing urban fabric has become an increasingly important topic for architectural discourse both in Switzerland and internationally. Numerous publications, symposia, research projects and discussion groups have dealt with the subject. But as has often been noted in all of these formats: in practice, the dominance of new construction remains. The conditions under which we are operating still favour the demolition and replacement of existing buildings. This is evidenced by the controversial discussions in recent years around prominent architecture competitions, for example in Zurich around the Maag Hallen, or around the “School for Climate Youth” in Manegg, to name just two.

Against this background, we want to use the BHSF Werkstattgespräche as a format for a discussion around building practice and to launch the “Agenda #keepingwhatsgood”. It is hoped this will be a chance to map a clear, collectively agreed plan of action on the practical level, outlining how we can arrive at a resource-saving construction method by preserving the existing stock and feeding what we do not keep into other buildings in cycles. In this context, we would also like to take a critical look at the demands for a moratorium on new construction, not because we do not share the goal, but because, on closer inspection, certain questions arise from a practical building point of view. For this purpose, we have chosen a new structure for the workshop discussions: after a half-hour input by the guests, a half-hour discussion follows, the results of which are jointly recorded and successively condensed into an agenda in the course of the series. This mode of collective authorship and is not meant to compete with other efforts, but to complement them. The question of how this is achieved will also be the subject of our discussion. The talks will take place on Thursdays at 19h in Geerenweg 2. The exchange before and after are also part of our agenda-setting. We invite everyone to become part of this process.

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