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Uia Berlin 2002

Part 2 Project 2002
Zlatko Haban
Graeme Ferguson
University of Greenwich, UK
UIA Berlin 2002: New language for Berlin

At the end of the Second World War Berlin became a divided city, a city of two halves. After many years the face of the city was changed once again, culminating in the historic and progressive zeitgeist of the late 1980s and the early 1990s - most notably with the demolition of the Berlin Wall, the strongest symbol of the division between East and West. Germany has been a reunited country for over ten years now, but the population is still trying to rebuild the connections and relationships that had been broken by the East-West divides.

This project is concerned with regeneration, with restoring those broken connections. The site is located along a water channel in the center of the city. The water channel runs through a desolate wasteland - a deserted landscape that had once been dominated by the Berlin Wall.

Research revealed that the only way to repair landscape and spirit of the city is to re-establish those broken connections (sl.1). The five outlying areas (sl.2) that surround the site were recognized as potential catalysts in the regeneration of the site. Each one of these areas is naturally connected to the site, and therefore gives the development a natural shape: an area determined by its relationship to its immediate environment (sl.3). Each section of the new form works as a template - almost like a circuit board (sl.4), with co-ordinates that determine the 'pattern' for further developments. The programme is flexible and would allow for the introduction of new elements - e.g. buildings (s5, sl.6, sl.7).

In order to prove that this language would work, an example building was conceived (sl.8). The shape of this structure is determined by the site's natural shape, developed in such a way as to be with architectural striking. The 2D circuit board concept allows for optimum flexibility: a program necklace (sl.9) could be adapted in any number of ways, with a range of shapes and forms that would inevitably change the nature of the structure (sl.10, sl.11).

As an extension of the site program, the building explores a more unconventional approach with apartments on the top and to the south and, offices with shopping mall underneath it and oriented to the north.

Zlatko Haban
Graeme Ferguson

Zlatko has exhibited an unrivalled intellectual curiosity and sense of direction over the past academic year. His research focused on the line as an organising element and generator of complex systems.

The project for an urban wasteland in central Berlin between the Spreebogen and the Lehrter Bahnhof was based on this year’s UIA student competition. Zlatko’s project connects the fragmented areas surrounding the site into a coherent whole.

We ask participants in our unit to concentrate on the process of production and on the precision of the architectural construct and its organizational qualities. Although we are interested in the physical manifestation of architectural ideas, we stress that it is essential to recognize patterns and explore the material relationships that they find in these patterns.

Zlatko has successfully fulfilled our unit requirements and allowed the design to emerge from a complex network of relationships rather than a one off solution. In so doing his primary focus has not been the medium of building itself but to find precision in the structure of its relationship to the urban environment.

Zlatko has not only fulfilled his own research ambition, but also developed a direction for future research, fulfilled our unit brief and the schools ambition, but above all he created an exciting vision for the complex problems of post war Berlin.

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