Martin Kaltwasser

Die Stadt von morgen

Die Stadt von morgen (city of tomorrow) proposes to install five large display boards on Hansaplatz, each no taller than 7.5 m, which will remain in place for six to twelve months. The question of the city of tomorrow – the title and the agenda of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) – will be illustrated on these boards from today’s perspective, using images of the urban spaces and houses in today’s Hansaviertel. The illustrations reference four essential points of the IBA 1957, which were key to the ideas about architecture and urban planning that were implemented in the Hansaviertel and also in part for the development of the city in the decades to follow:

Cityscape, connecting the city with the landscape‐

Communal areas inside houses

Green areas as living spaces rather than show areas

General space – flexible spaces and spaces for everyone

The displayed illustrations work with these ideals from 1957 by collaging them into existing views of houses and streets. The boards ask to what extent today’s Hansaviertel, as a representative of the city as a whole, is still waiting for some of these ideals to be implemented, and whether from today’s perspective these ideals seem more visionary and utopian than ever. The display boards address the cityscape as utopia from today’s perspective: on two boards the Hansaviertel’s high-rise blocks will be embedded into a park landscape where the space is occupied and used by people rather than cars. The block designed by Oscar Niemeyer is the subject of the third board. It shows the “contorno”, the communal fifth floor, in its ideal state, actively used by residents and their guests. Since its completion, this floor in Niemeyer’s house has never been used – unlike the situation in his houses in Brazil.

The base of the display boards is encased in painted plywood and printed with the inscription Die Stadt von Morgen ist… (the city of tomorrow is…). It is an invitation to the public to complete the sentence, to write all sorts of commentaries and to use the boards as temporary, participative sculptures, as spaces to conduct a conversation in which everyone has a say.