An orphaned living tower from the 60s in Dortmund is about to be demolished.
To demolish unused buildings is an irresponsible but still preferred procedure in urban development.
Why? for society
In times of climate changes, we should focus on the reuse of buildings to save up CO2.
Why? for architecture
To strengthen local identities of cities. Through the transformation of existing buildings,
we prevent a unification.
Analysing the urban fabric
The surrounding district called Nordstadt can be divided in two parts.
A 19th century residential part (old town) and the modern part (new town) which was transformed during the 1960s.
The tower ensemble is located between both of them.
Potentials of the old town
Except of several vacant plots the urban fabric is mainly intact.
Potentials of the new town
The existing buildings are large and open structures which allow no private appropriation.
The urban fabric is fragmented.
The different designs of the existing buildings and their positions do not interact.
They enable no urbanity.
Green areas and flower beds are often too small to be used as public spaces.
Close vacant plots with new buildings in the urban fabric of the old town.
Walls, arcades, rows of trees and additional buildings can reshape the urban fabric in the new town.
They allow private appropriation and promote urbanity.
Corner buildings highlight the surrounding urban fabric and frame the existing buildings.
Walls, terraces and public buildings create gardens and courts for private appropriation.
A brick base connects old and new parts of the ensemble.
The façade of the existing buildings is replaced and structured.
Although the ensemble is still a residential complex, it now has additional and selective public or commercial spaces.