31st Aug 2022
What becomes possible when architects expand the boundaries of their catalogue of services and take economic and political risks themselves?
With this question, the BDA Aachen brought another exciting aspect into the professional discourse on the building turnaround on 31 August. The Aachen BDA Kolleg:innen had invited Prof. Florian Fischer (Kooperative Grossstadt) as well as Annelen Schmidt-Vollenbroich and Ana Vollenbroich (Nidus) to give keynote speeches as part of the Pop-up Campus Festival programme. Under the title "Engagement Gestaltung Investition - Empowerment als Konzept...", the focus was on how architects can proactively act as actors in the development of sustainable solutions, liveable urban spaces or new forms of housing.
Construction tasks that put public welfare and sustainability aspects on the back burner in favour of economic interests and project constellations that increasingly force planners out of their role as experts and into a more or less satisfactory service relationship are often identified as a major obstacle to the necessary transformation of the industry. In the role of developer or initiator, there would be an opportunity to convince other market participants with realised examples of best practice, as was also agreed in the subsequent panel discussion with Harald Baal (Aachen CDU councillor, planning committee, housing and property committee), Johannes Hucke (chair of the Aachen planning committee, Die Grünen) and Frauke Burgdorff (city councillor for planning, construction and mobility).
Annelen Schmidt-Vollenbroich and Ana Vollenbroich, whose projects shed a different light on the supposedly "dark side of power", showed that this is indeed feasible. They see Nidus as an interdisciplinary architecture company and cover a broad spectrum between building culture and project development.