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Border(less) - Fusing city fragments through dwelling

Part 1 Project 2012
Simon Mouritsen
BjøRn Odgaard
Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark
Berlin is a city of fragments and voids, caused by its tragic history. Voids left by the Berlin wall has in some cases been filled, though this does not mean the void does not exist today.

The project investigates the potentials of merging city fragments together by looking at the qualities of the border between two contexts, using the border between Kulturforum and Potsdamers platz fragments as a case of this strategy.

Kulturforum as we know it today is a dysfunctional fragment that cuts itself off from the city with heavy infrastructure, while the Architectural icons that form an outline of Kulturforum turn their backs to the rest of the city.

The project of Border(less) proposes the addition of a New urban tissue and dwellings being built into the Berlin state library by renowned architect Hans Scharoun, as a catalyst for merging Kulturforum with its bordering city fragment.

The New urban tissue is a new passage and entrance through Marlene Ditrich Platz (the Potsdamer Platz fragment) and into the library and Kulturforum. This will give a more pleasant entrance to Kulturforum, that will enable the public to pass down a quiet cafe’ avenue, instead of passing into Kulturforum with the heavy infrastructure of cars and busses, like today.

Allowing an urban passage to pass through the state library will also bring new life to the library as the inside spaces become part of the city fabric with streets and squares.

Libraries as we know them today are a species that are in great competition for survival against the new media of the internet. Thus introducing dwellings is an attempt to evolve the species of libraries towards a more social lively library. The dwelling itself is the outcome of extensive investigations of module types and their ability to merge together to create a permeable structure with overlapping spaces that call for a negotiation of spacial boundaries. These boundaries can in time be shifted to meet the demand of an ever changing user group’s needs. Border(less) is a strategy for revitalising a library and through this merging city fragments together.

Simon Mouritsen
BjøRn Odgaard


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