Temporary signage of converted garage communities
All urban structures follow a temporary principle. A garage community with 94 individual garages in Leipzig Paunsdorf was selected for project implementation. Attempts are being made to revitalise garage communities and to create new urban spaces through conversion strategies. The original function of keeping a car is replaced by the creation of small workshops, hobby rooms and storage. The project idea aims to make the conversion visible to the public and consists of a simple temporary structure in the form of a tile made of a soil-casein mixture that indicates the current use of the respective garage. Similar to a coat of arms, each tile designates the form of use by means of symbols and makes the user identifiable by his or her mail address. The tile is placed next to the garage door. A mental duplication of these symbol structures leads to a local signpost that makes it possible for all garage users to establish contact with each other.
|Location of inspiration:||garage community in Leipzig Paunsdorf|
|Material:||local earth, casein|
|Method of manufacturing:||compression moulding|
|Temporal aspect:||duration of the garage lease|
full concept text
All urban structures follow a temporary principle. Urbanity means layering, repurposing, passing, overwriting, forgetting.
Within urban structures, temporary structures in the form of garage communities formed at the edges of urban structures from the late 1950s to the late 1980s. Thus, these garage communities represent a transition between urban life and landscape and nature. Where the number of inhabitants is decreasing, the garage communities are being abandoned and reclaimed by nature.
In larger cities and communities, however, there are also ongoing attempts to revitalise such garage communities and to create new urban spaces through conversion strategies. In this manner, the original function of storing a car is replaced or supplemented by the establishment of small workshops, hobby rooms and storage boxes. This is accompanied by an increase in attention towards these fragile and functional buildings. The current project idea wants to contribute to making this conversion visible to the public and at the same time reinterpreting the basic idea of a functional community.
The basic idea is that a simple temporary structure in the form of a tile made of a mixture of soil and casein indicates the current use of a garage of the garage community. Similar to a coat of arms, each tile designates the form of use through symbols and makes the user identifiable through his or her mail address or alternatively QR code (planned for the future). For example, a piece of structural wood symbolises the use of the garage for woodwork. A cogwheel denotes the use as a bicycle workshop, a fish the use as a smokehouse and an oil bottle the classic use as a car garage.
A garage community in Leipzig Paunsdorf, in Elisabeth-Schumacher-Straße (51.35° north latitude and 12.43° east longitude), was selected as an example for the project implementation. The garage community consists of 94 individual garages and corresponds to the GDR standard construction method of iron-protected concrete girder elements and slide-in slabs on a concrete floor slab with a low-pitched gable roof with roof bitumen covering. All 94 garages are in use. The city of Leipzig is one of the few large cities that has seen a significant increase in population in recent years, thus increasing the pressure on the existing infrastructure and the demand for garage parking spaces.
The implementation of the project idea takes place exemplarily. For the process of tile production, a wooden frame of 400×400 mm is cut to size. The wooden frame is then filled and compacted with a mixture of soil from the site and biodegradable casein. After the drying process of the soil-casein mixture, the resulting tile is released and the surface is finished with the corresponding symbol and inscription set in wood and placed next to the corresponding garage door. A mental duplication of these symbol structures leads to a local signpost that makes it possible for all garage users to establish contacts with each other. The basic idea of communication via symbols is already very old and was also used in various forms in ancient times. An abstract symbolic language is also used in modern architecture, for example in the Dessau Bauhaus. The temporary structure of the garage complex is fundamentally functional and adopts the basically serial character of GDR architecture from the 1950s. The aim is to optimise the use of minimal materials and functionality at the expense of individual aesthetics. The current renaissance of the conversion of these garage complexes ensures the preservation of this purely functional architecture and at the same time sets an impulse for social interaction within a functional urban environment. In the long term, both the functional architecture of the garage complex and the tiles of soil and casein are exposed to environmental influences and are fundamentally temporary in their essence.
They can be integrated, but also negated and deconstructed as the city continues to grow, according to the development plans to be formulated in the future. It can only be hoped that these temporary structures, which make an essential contribution to social interaction in the urban environment, will be preserved in the future.