26/02/2015: European Cultural Centre in a Venetian palazzo

Ideas are developed at the next aac workshop from 26 February to 20 March

Sixteen young architects and aspirants to the profession from different countries are given the opportunity at the Academy for Architectural Culture (aac) to develop designs for a European Cultural Centre in Venice and to subsequently present their work to the public in Hamburg and Venice. As part of the aac’s next spring workshop, they will initially travel to Venice in the company of Meinhard von Gerkan and his partner Stephan Schütz (Architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners, gmp), specifically to view the Palazzo Mora and its neighbourhood for the purpose of a detailed analysis. The intention is – as things currently stand – to establish the future European Cultural Centre in this building. Thereafter, at the premises of the aac at the Rainvilleterrasse campus in Hamburg, the scholarship students will work on architectural proposals for the Cultural Centre. They will be supported by associate professors and well known visiting professors. The project has been initiated by the European Cultural Centre Foundation (ECC), which was founded by the Venice-based Global Art Affairs Foundation.

The idea of a supra-national cultural centre for discourse, research and public events has been a topic of discussion at different levels of the European Union for some time. It would appear that the Palazzo Mora, part of which has been used by the Global Art Affairs Foundation for biennale exhibitions, and also the city of Venice – with hundreds of years of tradition as a place of cultural exchange – are ideally placed for such a proposal. The schedule of accommodation for the Centre includes rooms for exhibitions, events and research, as well as a library, an archive and a café in addition to areas for researchers and artists in residence.

In this context, the designs by the aac workshop participants are expected to represent an intervention that is both modern and confident, and sympathetic to the surroundings; as ambassadors of a modern movement which, with the respectful attitude of a temporary guest, is able to follow in the footsteps of the long tradition of Venetian architecture.

Directly after the workshop, the results of the project will be exhibited in public at the premises of the aac at the Rainvilleterrasse campus (opening of the exhibition on Friday 20 March 2015 at 12:30. Duration of the exhibition, 23 March to 10 April 2015. Opening times: work days from 10:00 to 17:00 hours). This is followed by an exhibition in Venice. The respective dates will be published on the website.

Public lectures by prominent experts will be held in Hamburg in support of the workshop:

- Wednesday 4 March, 19:00 hours:
Giulia Foscari (OMA/AMO): „Elements of Venice“

- Thursday 5 March, 19:00 hours:
Alexander Schwarz (David Chipperfield Architects, Berlin): „Finding, inventing, projecting“

- Wednesday 11 March, 19:00 hours:
Carlo Cappai, Maria Alessandra Segantini (C+S Architects, Treviso): „TranslationArchitecture“

All events will take place at the Rainvilleterrasse campus (Rainvilleterrasse 4, 22765 Hamburg) and are free of charge.

The Academy for Architectural Culture (aac)
The aac, which was initiated by the gmp founding partners Meinhard von Gerkan and Volkwin Marg, has been offering valuable additional qualifications to gifted architectural students and young architects from different countries in the form of aac courses since 2008. The private non-profit institution is supported by the gmp Foundation and, with its research and teaching, aims to support continuing education. Prior to this year’s spring workshop, participants worked on ideas such as the change of use of a redundant power station in New York (2014) and on school buildings of the future, taking the German school in Shanghai as an example (2013), on architectural concepts for affordable housing in Hamburg and Shanghai (2012), and on strategies for a sustainable city, „TXL+“, using the example of Berlin’s Tegel Airport (2009). The aac courses reflect the gmp philosophy, providing an insight into the experience and implementation of architecture in a social context and into dealing with tasks in the international arena. In addition to Meinhard von Gerkan and his partners, the intensive courses are regularly supported by well-known guest professors. The curriculum includes project work, seminars, critiques and lectures, and will be rounded off with an excursion and a public exhibition.
The European Cultural Centre Foundation (ECC)
The ECC is an organisation fostering research, design and interdisciplinary encounters, with adequate means to increase its wealth of experience. It encourages artistic and creative activities and facilitates processes of exchange at all levels: visual art, dance, performance, theatre, music, literature and architecture etc. The organisation’s venue is a place intended for the design of a common future, at which the most important contemporary subjects are studied.

For detailed information on the aac, the current public events programme and the speakers, please visit: www.aac-hamburg.com

Architectural model Christian Werner

Model photo
Heiner Leiska

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