Leipzig: The Latest Architecture and News
Urban planning is often based on the assumption of ongoing demographic and economic growth, but as some environments face urban shrinkage, a new array of strategies comes into play. The shrinking city phenomenon is a process of urban decline with complex causes ranging from deindustrialization, internal migration, population decline, or depletion of natural resources. Referencing the existing research on the topic, the following showcases approaches to this phenomenon in different urban environments, highlighting the need to develop new urban design frameworks to address the growing challenge.
An Oscar Niemeyer-Designed White Concrete and Glazed Sphere, Generates Extension for a Factory Canteen in Germany
Oscar Niemeyer’s latest work generated a spherical extension for the Kirow plant’s canteen in Leipzig, Germany. The architect was first approached by the factory’s owner in 2011, and following Niemeyer’s death in 2012, his sketches were further developed by assistant Jair Valera, and executed by Harald Kern Architects.
One of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer’s final designs, a 12-meter-diameter glass and concrete sphere perched on the corner of a factory building, is set to be completed in Leipzig, Germany, reports Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (Central German Broadcasting, MDR).
The winning entry of the Northern Shore Lake Zwenkau competition, which challenged select firms to introduce "holiday villages" and recreational activities to a small lake twenty minutes outside of Leipzig, Germany, was proposed by Labor4plus. Dubbed "Yearning Spaces," the proposal envisions a Western harbor village that concentrates recreational activity along the northern coast of Lake Zenkau and connects to eastwardly located "hermit huts" via hiking trails paralleling the shore.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall this autumn, Germany planned two memorials, one in Berlin and one in Leipzig. However, as Der Spiegel reports, not only are they almost certainly not going to be complete in time for the anniversary, they have both proven highly controversial with the local people. Will these designs turn out to be monuments to German reunification, or just monumental failures? Read the article on Der Spiegel to find out more.
ACME has won an international competition for the design of the new headquarters of the Sächsische AufbauBank in Leipzig, Germany. Chosen from submissions by 20 architectural practices (including Zaha Hadid and Sauerbruch Hutton), ACME's design was referred to by the jury as "an innovative and [...] a visionary solution, which is manifested in a striking, distinctive appearance. Especially noteworthy is the symbiotic unity of building and open space design."
Designed by Mateo Arquitectura, the purpose of the Leipzig Freedom and Unity Memorial is to commemorate the “Peaceful Revolution” of 1989 that made Leipzig a decisive place for the fall of the Berlin wall with the construction of this monument. The memory they aim to commemorate is that of a peaceful mass change, with no hierarchies, that we see in historic photos as points of light, changing like a surging sea. Formally and conceptually, the architects decided that their intervention here should address surface rather than volume; it should be horizontal rather than vertical. More images and architects’ description after the break.