Preservation of Historic Buildings and Monuments

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Preservation of Historic Buildings and Monuments through Conversion

STUDENT COMPETITION - Revitalisation concepts for industrial monuments in Berlin

The German capital was once considered the largest industrial city in continental Europe. Mainly, the electronics industry and power generation companies made the city famous as ELEKTROPOLIS. Various buildings give evidence of the history and building culture of the Berlin enterprises which make up the unmistakable monument profiles of Berlin. They are cultural imprints for the historic memory of the city and identification points in the city's image. With the economic restructuring of the recent decades and due to new technological demands, numerous industrial and technical monuments were released from their original use and thereby removing the economic basis for their upkeep. In order to create an economic survival perspective which makes sense for these Berlin industrial monuments, often conversion concepts are needed, that the buildings can have a new function and use while safe-keeping their monument character.

With different initiatives the Landesdenkmalamt Berlin (Berlin Monument Authority) has aimed to mobilise many activists to develop strategies for the future of innovative conservation and conservative conversion and at the same time help to strengthen the public and specialist debate. In addition to the co-operation of monument owners, architects, town planners and monument "fosterers" these competitions are also open to future generations of planners.

Since 2002, these student ideas competitions organised by the Bewag Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG together with the Landesdenkmalamt (Berlin Monument Authority) have proved to be a successful way of promoting conservation as well as integrating a new generation of planners. Here, town planning students are given an opportunity to work on a concrete project with the topic reuse of listed real estate and are also able to sharpen their minds for the needs of the conservation. The worked out concepts show manifold possibilities, such as how industrial monuments like the Charlottenburg Thermal Power Station, the Wilhelmsruh Substation and the Rummelburg Power Station can have their lives extended through new perspectives for their use.

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