At the end of the school year a project week of creative exploration of architecture and urban planning – that’s why class 5a of the Leibniz-Gymnasium in Potsdam quickly got excited. The students also named themes in advance, which were to be reflected, ranging from the pollution of public space to environmental and climate protection. In the city of Potsdam, large and with an abundance of interesting architectural and urban topics, there had to be found a focus on a specific place. In extremely close voting, the students opted for the residential areas Konrad-Wolf-Park and Kirchsteigfeld on their own doorstep.
In the wide surroundings of the “Stern-Center”, the class was able to get to know the planners’ different, often high-quality approaches to transport links, public and semi-private space, environmental protection and, of course, architecture, and to identify potential for improvement for five of their own selected locations.
The subsequent workshop was not without major technical, personal or deadline challenges. As with the “real” architects, ideas were developed and discarded in small groups of 2-3 students who had come together in a relatively short time, first brought to paper and then transformed into the scale model.
After the summer vacations, the students in the public presentation in the education forum proudly presented their proposals in model and PowerPoint presentation: Differentiated usage offers for all generations on the vacant squares of the Kirchsteigfeld, partly covered new outdoor facilities with water surfaces, exercise and shopping in the fallow land between the two residential areas. For Ernst-Busch-Platz, a multi-functional public building or sports-oriented, green design was proposed. The draughty bus stop in front of the Stern-Center was moved closer to the entrance, received covered bicycle parking spaces and shortens the waiting time with a small café. Another project showed in a smartphone-shot film the incentive model of a singing trash can.
In all ideas manifested the strong desire of the young Potsdamers for more offers, but also more order in the public space. The subject of vandalism is countered for example with designated graffiti walls. In doing so, an intergenerational and social overlapping approach is never lost sight of. Weather-protected meeting places, which are present and currently serve a specific section of the population, are newly integrated. The third dimension is included, thus achieving new multifunctionality with a view over the roofscape. No work presents its own architectural idea about the functions offered. Surely valuable suggestions for a forward-looking city policy, which unfortunately had not found the short way to the Education Forum.
The participation project “Die Stadtentdecker” for students in Brandenburg, more at http://architektur-und-schule.info/
Arousing enthusiasm for architecture, urban planning and participation in construction projects – this is the ambition of the “City Explorers” project of the Brandenburg Chamber of Architects, for which Alexander Paul took over the professional project support this summer for the first time.
From Potsdam’s rich offer of interesting architectural and urban planning themes, the students of class 5a of the Leibniz Gymnasium themselves have selected the very heterogeneous residential areas Konrad-Wolf-Park and Kirchsteigfeld in front of its own doorstep. During the city walk the children tracked a lot of potential for improvement in a high quality environment. In a subsequent, intensive one-week workshop, proposals were elaborated in small working groups for the fallow area between the residential areas, the Ernst Busch square or a more attractive bus stop at the Stern-Center shopping mall. Not only have the children dealt with the planning process, but also learned the complexity of successful urban planning.