The Ahrtal Studio. Voices from a transforming river – Final jury in Trier, Germany
The night of July 14th 2021, the Ahr river, a left tributary of the Rhine, swallowed towns and vineyards around, rampaging the towns in the valley and finding in its path surprised inhabitants that despite being used to cyclical floods, had ever faced such an extreme situation in their lives.
DS1 students were confronted with a challenging exercise of research by design, analytical data interpretation, empathy and environmental awareness. The Ahrtal Studio introduced the notions of empathetic resilience, affective ecologies, interdependence and soil community in its approach to the Ahr floods. Taking example from the emotional bonds between the inhabitants that helped to overcome the aftermath stress, this notion was extended to the whole river basin, the vineyards soils and the biota mutually interacting and affecting each other in the valley.
More than perceiving both the river and the soils as resources to support the economic activity in the region, the notion of soil communities, from which humans also form part, was the trigger for incorporating the logics of care in the idea of reconstruction of the Ahr valley.
Thanks to Hochschule Trier for the hospitality, and all the students for their work!
Master Architecture tutors:
César Reyes Nájera, Prof. Florian Hertweck & Prof. Markus Miessen
Hochschule Trier tutors:
Prof. Robert Thum, Prof. Marion Goerdt
Francelle Cane and Marija Maric
Madeleine Kessler is a RIBA chartered architect and engineer. She co-curated the British Pavilion at the 17th International Venice Architecture Biennale. Her practice deals with public spaces, infrastructure and urban design incorporating notions of inclusive ownership and rewilding.
Alejandro Haeik Coll founder of labprofab. Architect and Lecturer and MA Studio leader at Umeå School of Architecture, Sweden; with great experience on autonomous civic infrastructures and research projects on territory and shadow policies and ecologies.
Jens Metz is an architect and Dean of the Schule für Architektur Saar. Founder of platformberlin has been chair of the scientific committee of Europan Germany (2012-17). With broad experience in multi scalar urban planning and publications on urban subjects.