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The Big Hole

big-hole

Tutor: Lars Fischer
Engagement: Mediating Tactics

The studio takes the landscape of coal strip mines located near the Belgian border in Germany as its point of departure to develop a critical design position that addresses the aesthetics of sustainability.

Currently, a sustainable architecture is primarily realized and legitimized by developments of new technologies, smart materials, and renewable energies, increased thermal insulation and advanced heating systems, academic research and scientific testing, sophisticated labels and prestigious awards, etc. But what today may seem promising, might eventually lead to further problems. Sustainability is a complex concept, that due to different interests at play, and particular modes of communication, carries multiple, often conflictual meanings, which ultimately dissolve into meaninglessness.

How we talk about and communicate sustainability sets up specific expectations of how we deal with it. This studio will establish and discuss an aesthetics of sustainability as a means to communicates a concept of what the contemporary relation of architecture and environment actually is, or could potentially be.

Considered the biggest hole in Europe, the Garzweiler surface mine has affected many surrounding villages and several have been lost or resettled. The site of resettlement is the location for an architectural proposal to begin to redefine a language for a sustainable architecture.