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(21-22) The Building and the City. [Freiburg/Fribourg]

The Building and the City – Reading the city on this particular moment as an architectural question.

Master dissertation studio 2021 – 2022
Tutors: Wim Goes, Klaas Goris en Marc Macken
Semester: 2de semester (+ voorbereiding in 1ste semester)
Language: Nederlandstalig
Campus: Gent

This masterproof is based on a long tradition of working on heritage cities within Europe and was created some decades ago by P. Robbrecht and M.J. Van Hee. Central in this research project is the understanding of the interconnection of the historical, social and cultural landscape of a European city with limited habitants (more or less the scale of Ghent)
After a city visit, the students are free to choose a plot and subsequently a public program they want to develop on site.
This well motivated choice, based on a thorough analysis, has to reflect both the social and cultural needs of the city.
The plot should allow a public program of 5.000 to 7.000 m² or a small scale The resulting design of the building should form a coherent entity with its surroundings and contribute to the urban fabric of Fribourg.
Before Easter holidays, the students should deliver a well-considered and structured design proposal combining plan, construction and technics. After this period they turn into the more detailed scale of the building.
The aim is to express the student’s personal views of the project / individuality and demonstrate his or her architectural insight and capabilities.


When I speak of architecture rather than town planning, I do so for one reason: I think that this word covers everything, from building to the city, in the sense of Aldo Rossi’s book Architecture of the City. I think that a seperation would miss the essential issue at hand: how to pose the question of the city as an architectural question.
Bernard Huet, however has doubted the possibility of posing this question. He has spoken of the tension in which architecture and city confront each other: “l’architecture contre la ville” (1). This tension is of a fundamental type: while the city is a matter of society, architecture is a mather of the individual. The city has its raison d’être in the conventions of a time, but architecture has its rationale in the violation of these conventions.
This search responds the growing plurality of things, to the realization that things have an identity in the plural. If this identity corresponds to the condition postmoderne, then this architecture makes clear, on the other hand, that its price is different from the multiple coding proposed by Charles Jencks: words, and ordinary words in particular, are implicitly ambigious because we read them on the basis of different experiences: “building”, “city”, …
Eugen Gomringer published his first poems under the title “konstellationen- constellations-constellaciones”. In these poems he relates the words and meanings to each other by linking them to the form a constellation.
“In it two, three, or more words – it will not be too many – are related and that is all.”. (2)
The constellation corresponds to the perception of our time.
The city coheres at points where the buildings create a certain form in the sense of a constellation. The dictionary definition of a constellation is a “configuration of stars”, and as the Petit Robert adds, a configuration of stars “that creates a recognizable form”. This observation can serve as the basis for a town planning stategy aimed at the shaping of such places and wich at the same time rejects a large-scale order as well as laisser-faire of the type that colors some of the statements of Rem Koolhaas.

(Herwerkt fragment gebaseerd op de tekst van Martin STEINMANN, The house and the city, notes on the architecture of Diener & Diener, Luzern, 1995)

We bezoeken Freiburg, een middelgrote Europese culturele stad.
We zoeken in Freiburg naar plekken, naar mogelijkheden om plekken te maken. Plekken die zijn of kunnen worden, met betekenissen en stimulering voor de buurt, voor de stad.
Plekken met een potentieel voor architecturale ingrepen.
We zoeken naar mogelijkheden op basis van culturele, maatschappelijke, economische, historische, klimatologische, landschappelijke gelaagdheid van Freiburg.

We zoeken de ruimte op tussen de behoefte van de stad (het collectieve) en persoonlijke affiniteiten en lezingen van de student (het individuele).
De ingreep overweegt een schaal (groter of kleiner) en een programma (meer of minder).
Capaciteiten van de student-ontwerper worden ingezet om te komen tot een ontwerp dat omgaat met schaal, tactiliteit, materialiteit, licht, geluid, reuk, kleur,… met de mogelijkheid tot perceptie, beleving en imaginatie.
Een architectuur dat is opgebouwd uit materie, structuur, licht en detail, bewust en in de periferie van het bewuste, open voor intuïtie, reflectie en beweging.

De studio wordt gevoed door analoge tekening, maquettes en andere media, de studio gaat over het maken, het bouwen. Het denken door het bouwen.

Architectuur maken om zo de stad te maken. Een stad op maat van de bewoner en bezoeker.

Een opdracht met 2 schalen en 2 docenten.

Atelier Klaas Goris: publiek gebouw van 5000 à 7000 m2

  • programma te ontwerpen
  • materialiteit en stedenbouwkundige connectie met de stad.
  • structureel concept
  • technisch concept

Atelier Wim Goes: publiek gebouw van 500 à 1000 m2 (min of meer)

  • programma te ontwerpen
  • materialiteit en detail
  • bouwconcept
  • gedetailleerde uitwerking

Lees meer over timing, output, deadlines, … hier. (pdf)