Merseburg is a shrinking city between Halle and Leipzig. Merseburg wants to attract new residents by transforming the GAGFAH-Siedlung and creating new living environments. Therefore the city organized an Internationale Bauausstellung: Neue Milieus, Neue Chancen
The site has the potential to create a new green east-west connection through Merseburg, connecting the different natural landscapes surrounding the city.
The project started from the existing green (Keep it) and intensifies the green by creating a diverse landscape (Green it). The qualities of the newly formed landscape were used to create new living environments with modern, comfortable and energy efficient houses (Live in it). A diverse urban forest in a city is the result. Pedestrian paths connect all these different landscapes.
These different landscapes reminded us of the movie Lord of the Rings. The new living environments therefor refer to the Hobbiton and Middle Earth (north), Tree Houses (middle) and the 2 Towers (south).
The competition was done in co-operation between Spilios Gianakopoulos and David Dooghe.
2oo6, Merseburg, Germany
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The presentation started with maps that illustrate the shifting of the social-cultural and the political-economical boarders since 19oo until 2oo6 in this area. The observation of the urban situation in the border cities of Gorltiz-Zgorzelec, Guben-Gubin, Frankfurt (Oder)-Slubice, just before the opening of the Poland border to the European Union in 2oo6, was shown by use of photos, maps and quotes out of interviews and novels. How these border cities deal with the (re)union has parallels with the unification of East- and West-Berlin.
The influence of the shifting boarders (social, cultural, economical and political) since 19oo until now in non-boarder cities in the area was also presented. The shifting boarders have a big influence on the identity of these cities. Dresden is weeding out the socialistic domination in the city centre and rebuilds hs historical centre. Cottbus wants to transform from industrial city to an international university city but has a low educated unemployed population with many social and racist problems. The design project ‘Keep it, Green it, Live in it!’ illustrates the task in the shrinking city of Merseburg.
As an example of social and cultural reunion, the effect of 2oo6 FIFA World Cup, which Germany hosted at the time of the research, was displayed. This one-month during event brought the former East- and West-Germany more together than 2o years of political effort. ‘The German flag was no longer a monopoly of the neo-Nazis but became again the symbol of the unified German people’.
‘Keep it, Green it, Live in it!’ is a project in the shrinking city of Merseburg, located between Halle and Leipzig The city council of Merseburg wants to attact new residents by transforming the GAGFAH-Siedlung and creating new living environments.
There are different natural areas surrounding Merseburg. North-south axes going through Merseburg mainly connect these different natural areas. Merseburg has hardly any east-west connections. Our site has the potential to create such a green east-west connection.
Starting from the existing green (Keep it), we intensified the green by creating a diverse landscape (Green it) and used the qualities of the newly formed landscape to create new living environments with modern, comfortable and energy efficient houses (Live in it). A diverse urban forest in a city is the result.
The newly created landscape is divided in three landscape types: to the north an open slope landscape, in the middle a forest, in the south a post industrial park. These different landscapes reminded us of the movie Lord of the Rings. The new living environments therefor refer to the Hobbiton and Middle Earth (north), Tree Houses (middle) and the 2 Towers (south)
North-south orientated pedestrian paths connect all these landscape types. Walking on these paths, you experience the richness of different landscapes and the different possibilities of living in these landscapes.