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Culinary Island Eberswalde

Part 2 Project 2008
Konrad Scheffer
Brandenburgische Technische Universitat Cottbus Cottbus Germany
The city of Eberswalde is located in the eastern part of Germany, 30 minutes north of Berlin. The whole area is currently struggling a substantial economic decline, leading to a phenomenon known as “shrinking city”. In effect cities are losing their inhabitants and urban areas their identity. In this situation, the conventional task for designers – creating space around a given program - is turned upside-down. The future challenge is to develop new programmatic ideas for a given building. In this context, architectural design is an act of directing and working very closely with the existing built environment. By examining the specifics of an abandoned building in its social, cultural and economic context, unique solutions need to be found.
The former slaughterhouse, built in 1890 is located in a very heterogeneous urban area, close to the old city centre. The building is comparably small and has witnessed substantial remodelling, but the refined brickwork reveals its former beauty. Nowadays, the slaughterhouse has a minor use as storage space. The whole region has a very diverse culinary tradition. The idea behind the Culinary Island is to offer opportunities for local farmers to communicate their goods and labour to a broader range of consumers. Focussing on regional specialities, the program is fluctuating between different events, markets and farmers-trade-fairs. The building ensemble gains a distinct presence in the urban context, fostering the appreciation of both food and space. The main part of the building, the market hall is made of slender timber elements, allowing daylight to penetrate, changing the atmosphere throughout the day. The complex also houses a restaurant and a vinery that are situated in the old part. Minimal architectural interventions characterize this part of the building, heightening the abstract quality of the interior brick spaces.
Enabling the creation of economic and agricultural networks, the Culinary Island supports a sustainable development of the region.



Konrad Scheffer


In this years graduation assignment five abandoned industrial sites in the city of Eberswalde, Germany were given with the task to propose a new use. The buildings, all from the 19th century, have to be seen as cultural heritage with high architectural value. Unfortunately the loss of industrial activities and a general economic decline in wide parts of eastern Germany let to neglect these powerful reminders of former cultural achievements. Within five months, the students had to find a strategy for revitalizing one of the buildings and to elaborate an architectonic design.
In his work, Konrad Scheffer develops the idea of a “Culinary Island”. Formulating an architecturally and aesthetically highly qualified transformation of an abandoned slaughterhouse into a market for local organic products, he gives an outlook for a sustainable and sensible reuse of the existing building complex. His work is both outstanding for its excellent refinement in detail and very sensible interventions on an urban scale, creating a coherent composition of old and new building masses. The approach of reconnecting the building ensemble with the old city-centre shows a profound understanding of the complex urban situation. The design merges different historic layers to an architectural entity.


Tutor(s)


2008
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