Monument Protection & Accessibility: Special mention 2016
Is it really a contradiction to preserve historic buildings according to the specifications for monument conservation and at the same time to make them accessible to everyone?
More than 50 students of “Modell+Design” at the Technical University of Berlin, analysed the objectives of monument protection with regard to overcoming potential barriers, using the examples of three very prominent listed buildings in Berlin: the "Neue Nationalgalerie", a famous example of modern architecture, the baroque "St. Hedwig’s Cathedral" and the historistic "Altes Stadthaus". On the one hand, the aim and assignment were to preserve the original fabric and the cultural heritage; on the other hand, to adapt the cultural heritage to social requirements in terms of an appropriate “design for all”.
In the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment two seemingly incompatible areas of responsibility have approached each other – barrier-free building/design for all, Mrs Ingeborg Stude and monument protection, Mrs Anna Maria Odenthal. To overcome further barriers, to create examples and most of all to draw young people’s attention to important future planning goals of our society during their training, the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment found a progressive and creative partner in the Technical University of Berlin, “Model+Design”, Burkhard Lüdtke and Annette Müller.
As a result, innovative ideas have been developed as first evidence of an inclusive feasibility. Especially the challenge and the seemingly impossible have led to unexpectedly interesting approaches in keeping with ethics and aesthetics.
For their designs the young people have given thought to the relation between building project and target groups, i.e. people with disabilities. They have not only gained knowledge of barrier-free planning and building as well as aims and objectives of monument protection, but managed to adapt and transform this knowledge in a creative, unconventional and aesthetic way.
During the implementation of the project, the inventiveness, creative ambition and infectious intensity of the individual designs resulted in an abundance of inspiring and innovative proposals which now can be admired in a traveling exhibition. (Link to the Study-project PDF).