November 9, 2012, Berlin

Y-Table-Talk DAZ: Failed Architecture - Neues Kreuzberger Zentrum (NKZ)


Workshop // DAZ Y-Table // 5.11. - 9.11.2012

Y-Table-Talk // DAZ // 9.11.2012 // 5 pm

DAZ hosts Failed Architecture for a five-day workshop dealing with Kottbusser Tor and Neues Kreuzberger Zentrum (NKZ) in Berlin: Why is this area perceived as a failure by many and how did it develop over the decades?

Failed Architecture focuses on buildings and urban environments that are malfunctioning, displeasing or have failed to stand the test of time and are currently neglected, abandoned or even vandalized or demolished, because of changing economic, social, political and/or physical circumstances.

The architects and urban research group hopes to learn lessons from past failures, save some overlooked and underrated urban success stories from oblivion and help establish a rich source of information and inspiration for architects, planners and others with an interest in urban affairs.

The negative image of the Neues Kreuzberger Zentrum (NKZ) over the years has been quite persistent. The NKZ became synonymous with crime and poverty from the early-1980s onwards, and was one of West Berlin’s ‘soziale Brennpunkte’. In 1998 local politicians even proposed to demolish the NKZ, hoping that with this rather symbolic gesture crime and poverty would evaporate from the Kottbusser Tor area. Over the last few years, there has been some local re-evaluation and people are starting to make use of the many public spaces the building accommodates. However, while gentrification starts to kick out some, the general public opinion is still that the NKZ has utterly failed and has a considerable negative influence on its surroundings.

The goal of the workshop will be to filter the reasons for the bad name and limited functioning of the complex and present them to the local municipality and the Berlin spatial planning professionals. Failed Architecture would like that, when thinking of the future of NKZ they are able to take an informed decision, having in mind the mistakes that had been made in the past and the processes that have led to the current situation. Placing the study of NKZ in the context of previous FA events we will be able to show to the decision makers also other cases of architectural failure, such as the Zwarte Madonna in The Hague, Novi Zagreb or Domus Vista in Copenhagen. Through this exchange of information we aim at raising the level of sensibility of politicians and spatial planners.

The results will be discussed on November 9th from 5 p.m. at the DAZ-Y-table with Peter Ackermann chairman administrative board NKZ, Andrea Benze & Christian Dengler architects/urban researchers, Vincent Kompier urbanist/author, Carsten Krohn architect/author and Axel Timm architect raumlabor. The event will be held in English language.


Failed architecture