The Project is had been scheduled over a period of five years (2008-2013),
the “Neighbourhood’s University” (UdN) is taking an exploratory approach
to developing and testing contemporary forms of education at the crossover point
between culture, knowledge and urban development.
It was launched in Hamburg – Wilhelmsburg as an autonomous,
experimental project set up by the Urban Design faculty of the HafenCity University
(HCU) Hamburg. Throughout the project, themes and questions from the fields of
education and research are being put into practice: to a scale of 1:1 a disused
building that has an intermediate and residual-life use is made operative again with a
Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg is located on the Elbe Islands, a district just South of the
centre of Hamburg. The area houses approximately 55.000 people from more than
158 nations. Embraced by the river Elbe, the district is not well connected to the
centre of Hamburg despite its proximity and has rather become associated with
working class immigrants and disused industrial sites.
The main focus is directed towards the reciprocal exchange that takes place in the
processes of utilizing, programming, designing and building. However due to the
dynamic character of usage and utilization such processes do not proceed in a linear
manner. The conceptual term of “Ermöglichungsarchitektur” (enabling
architecture), there is the attempt to reflect on these active processes and potentials and in
doing so we create settings for spatial processes of change.
In 2007 the Municipality of Hamburg established the International Building Exhibition
Hamburg 2013 (IBA Hamburg) in order to regenerate the area and accommodate its
urban growth. The neighbourhood is now undergoing a dramatic change, which
provokes an ambivalent situation and a starting point for re-considering
contemporary practices of planning and urban design.
(only in German available)
If you got more curious about this project, it is also possible to participate in their recent project work for the Hotel Wilhelmsburg. There are open international workshops on the 11.-15. February and 4.-15. March 2013.
For further information check the website Universität der Nachbarschaften (UdN) (Website is only in German available)