Project Support for City Explorers Sun Grammar School Fuerstenwalde/Spree
Finding the features in the center of Fuerstenwalde, by which both children and adults can be inspired, and develop new potential – that was the task of the city walk which led the class 5b of the Sun Grammar school in Fürstenwalde-Nord in icy temperatures across the train station and city park into the center of the “Cathedral city”. In the subsequent workshop, it quickly became clear that the special feature of Fuerstenwalde really is the division into three parts which are separated from each other by the railway tracks and the Spree river.
Slowly, priorities from the student’s point of view emerged for the development potential of the city. The city park between Bahn and Spree met with outstanding interest among the students, for whom three groups made suggestions for a climbing park, a playground for small children with a parents’ café and another playground around the fountain.
The cathedral aroused the interest in history, details of the building and also in the topic of religion, which in the very heterogeneous class partly had a different cultural background and partly was not present at all. Their fascination they want to pass on o the visitors of the city by the sale of a Cathedral quiz and a new Cathedral shop right next to the church.
Another group has developed improvements around the station. Enthusiasm for the history of railway developed into a guiding theme in a city that owns one of the oldest railway stations in Germany. For the fallow tracks north of the station, the group suggests a glazed railway museum.
Feasibility is one of the main concerns of the students, so that many concepts were also calculated economically – a surprisingly pragmatic approach of the young generation with regard to the realization of their ideas. In the discussion, Mayor Rudolph and Urban Development Director Tschepe then stated that many of the children’s ideas are in line with city policy priorities. For instance, playground equipment has recently been added to the city park, the Cathedral quiz is currently published by the museum and also the suggestion of the station team for a new road bridge over the railway tracks could bring this topic again onto the agenda of city politics.
The project in the press: https://www.moz.de/landkreise/oder-spree/fuerstenwalde/artikel6/dg/0/1/1679004/
The film for the participation project “Die Stadtentdecker” for students in Brandenburg at https://youtu.be/H-m6Nfqkt8g
Project Support for City Explorers Leibniz Secondary School Potsdam
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/