03.09.19 Bauforum Hamburg at 19–24 August 2019

For the Hamburg Bauforum 14 teams studied and conceptualized 7 Magistralen (radial access roads) – A strip between 8 and 15 km long is a tall order for conventional urban planning.

A license to visionary thinking was therefore suggested in the brief for teams made up of local and international architects, planners and representatives of local authorities.

Disagreement was to be expected. This was the case in team 2 studying Kieler Strasse where Peter Wilson’s  initial radical scenario was mollified and censored in favor well meaning but less than inspired conventional solutions for nodes and neighbourhood centres.

The radical scenario, ultimately presented as protest placards marched through the final public session (Salon de Refusés), was for a new typology – an urban sail on the Kieler Strasse.

A fleet of 30 Sails to give rhythm to the Kieler Strasse axis. They replace the 30 existing petrol stations, with charging facilities for e-autos (sail = foto-voltaic facade) and local distribution points (DHL/UPS). An upward tapering of the Sails respects setback distances to adjacent properties. Upper levels house up to 120 mini apartments (affordable housing shortage) and in their voluminous interiors mini-culture hubs/clubs, laundries+workshops which by means of ramp tentacles activate the surrounding urban fabric.

The protest was joined by Sago – an immigrant from Africa working for the forum cleaners – he was protesting that such visionary plans were to be found in the rubbish bins.