The "Otto-Langen-Quartier" is a historically significant place in Cologne, Mühlheim where the first combustion engine was developed. After the resettlement of Deutz-AG, the State NRW bought the industrial area in 1996, which is now the last remaining public site of Mühlheim.
Artists revitalised it by creating the project “Deutzer Zentralwerk der schönen Künste”. It is driven by the question of how a city that is constantly developing anew from the power of art with human beings at its centre would look like. Besides this, the objective of the master thesis is to investigate how communication and neighbourhood can be promoted in the district. Various residential and district strategies are defined in the context of this historical production site to achieve a multifaceted social structure. Thereby people’s everyday life is supported and opportunities for appropriation due to life changing plans are offered.
The design is based on the theory of subsystems within a society. Therefore, an attempt is made to create a basis for various interlinked sub-communities within a quarter. From small to large scale different hierarchies of community have different spaces of encounter and possibilities. Larger spaces offer opportunities for economic interactions and communities’ interests, which lead into an open neighbourhood and far-reaching encounters beyond the new “Otto-Langen-Quartier”. Additionally, private residential units are grouped either around a common courtyard or within a house community. Those communities interact mainly through communication and informal meeting spaces. Overall, community takes place between the public and private pole.
To meet the changing needs of residents the simple housing units can be constructed, extended, or upgraded by residents themselves within a house-in-house principle and with established rules. Thereby, the dynamic processes of building and demolition extend the communicative level of the residents, so that the community is literally based on the creation of the district.