Large planning issues require extraordinary formats
International Building Forum 2019 Magistralen
7 Magistral spaces, 14 teams with 200 experts from architecture, urban planning, open space planning, transport planning, science and culture, plus over 8,000 guests - with the "International Building Forum 2019 | Magistralen", the City of Hamburg set the stage in late summer 2019 for Germany's largest and most colorful future workshop. Together with deine°°Agenten, urban attitude and Büro Klass, urbanista developed exciting formats in a mixture of creative hackathon and professional festival. Together with the citizens, ideas were developed for the main arteries of the metropolis - a topic that is of utmost importance for all major cities. With the Building Forum, a Hamburg tradition that goes back almost 40 years was brought into the 21st century - a format that can be a blueprint for other cities as well.
The goal of the Bauforum was to create a free space for design and discussion for six days, allowing for a complete rethinking of the complex magistral spaces. The Building Forum was a gigantic design workshop, a festival, and a networking meeting of city makers, and thus created a temporary state of emergency that inspired experts and the public alike. With its results, the Bauforum aims to stimulate the international debate on magistral spaces and at the same time to create the basis for the development of these spaces over the next 20 years.
Hamburg Authority for Urban Development and Housing
Tristan Lannuzel, Sören Rothert
The main arteries of our city
The magistrals are city entrance, first address, neighborhood center and supply space. They contradict each other in their sense and purposefulness - they are barrier and connecting space at the same time and through their ambiguity almost poetic. Here the problems and longings of every urban planner manifest themselves.
The expansive corridors plow through our city from its core to its surrounding periphery. Diverse social structures are exposed and the heterogeneity of architecture, urban planning and traffic is made visible. The magistrale leads us through dense neighborhoods of old buildings, through classic 1960s and 1970s red brick development, through commercial areas, along large housing estates and finally through areas of semi-detached and detached houses.
The term "arterial corrdiors" epitomizes the function of urban magistrals. Indispensable as transportation space for goods and people, they occupy enormous areas within the urban settlement body. Growing traffic flows, increasingly scarce inner-city building areas and the exceeding of applicable emission limits increase the pressure on the magistral areas.
The desire for transformation
The space of desire is moving into the focus of planning and politics. Can these expansive corridors be no more than functional transit space? Can the "gibberish of urban planning and architecture" - as Oberbaudirektor Franz-Josef Höing called it - be ordered and the Magistrale space become part of the living city? The competing demands for space and the technical innovations in the mobility sector make a transformation of the magistrals conceivable and necessary. This Herculean task was therefore taken up by the international building forum 2019 | Magistralen in Hamburg.
A Hamburg format with tradition
The first Hamburg Building Forum was held as early as 1984. Since then, a total of seven building forums have been dedicated to the central challenges of urban development in Hamburg. In a mixture of creative hackathon and specialist congress with workshop character, local, national and international experts developed new ideas for the further development of the Hanseatic city. Together, they dared to transform old port areas, restructure mono-functional commercial areas and, in 2003, even take the leap across the Elbe. The Bauforums were thus formative for key and major projects in the city of Hamburg - such as HafenCity.
While the Bauforum in 1984 was still an introverted trade congress, the format in 2019 set new standards. The focus of the event this time was "Magistralen". Spaces that can hardly be surpassed by their scale and complexity. A total of almost 200 experts responded to the call of the Chief Building Director to Hamburg to develop groundbreaking visions for the highly complex Magistralen in just five days.
Free from all constraints of everyday planning, a total of 14 interdisciplinary teams worked on seven selected magistrals. In order to capture the 8 to 20km long magistrals in their entirety, urbanista developed seven dossiers. They were the basis for the teams' work, highlighted the dramaturgy of the magistrals and defined first possible focus spaces as crystallization points of certain challenges. In some cases, the teams completely questioned the meaningfulness of the main thoroughfares or developed new programming for the respective magistrale. With striking titles such as "Milky Way," "Into the Wild West" and "Diversistrahle," the approaches encourage people to break open existing thought patterns. The designs are by no means implementation-oriented, but rather inspire to rethink these spaces in the future.
The building forum creates a temporary state of planning exception. Administrative, civic, political and professional horizons are deliberately broken open, irritated and stimulated. The Magistralen are present as a space for change beyond the workshop mode in important switching points of urban planning. The participants from the administration served as multipliers both internally and externally.
Trade congress with festival character
In addition to the technical work of the Building Forum, a creative supporting program was designed. The venue was the Deichtorhallen as a creative hotspot in the middle of Hamburg. The Magistralen were made tangible through a variety of program points, such as the Magistralen Safaris, Shouldered Streetlights, an open-air cinema, a concert, exciting Expert:innentalks and internationally renowned keynote speakers. Through the public accessibility of the studios, an exhibition and the public presentation of the results, the Building Forum was aimed not only at the experts, but also at the broad urban society.
For such a large-scale project, the unconditional will to break new ground is indispensable. The Authority for Urban Development and Housing and the Chief Building Director laid the foundation for the Building Forum. At the same time, the implementation of the project requires a multi-layered project team that brings planning, event, cultural and design experience to the project. urbanista therefore brought experienced partners on board: deine°°Agenten, urban attitude and Büro Klass.
The success of the building forum is still felt in large parts of the professional world. The Magistralen have been brought to the attention beyond administrative boundaries. The discourse continues and the city of Hamburg signals with further event formats - such as the exhibition in January 2020, also organized by urbanista - that we want to continue and anchor the Magistralen on the agenda of the professional world.