The arising of a new city. 1938-2008
DAZ_FORUM 23. Januar 2009 - 08. März 2009
EXHIBITION at DAZ_Scharoun Saal
OPENING 23.01.2009, 8 PM
Doris Gruber, Vizepräsidentin BDA
Monika Thomas, Stadtbaurätin der Stadt Wolfsburg
The DAZ presents a review on seven decades of urban developement in the city of Wolfsburg. Unlike historically grown cities Wolfsburg looks back on shorter stages, which were closely connected and catalysed by the industrial buildings of the Volkswagen factory. Unique in Germany, the city presents innumerous post-war architectural monuments. The exhibition shows seven chapters related to seven building types from the view of architects, clients and occupants. „Typical Wolfsburg!“ offers new perspectives on modern every-day architecture like the local church, the school or the kindergarten– in Wolfsburg as well as in your own neighbourhood.
SHORT LECTURES 23.01.2009, 6 PM, DAZ_Taut Saal
„Wolfsburg. A city changes its face.“ 10 years of urban renewal – an interim conclusion.
Lectures in German)
„Der neue Stadteingang am Bahnhof. Städtebauliche Konsequenzen der Neuausrichtung.“
Monika Thomas, Stadtbaurätin der Stadt Wolfsburg
„Stadt als Erlebnis. Der Stadtwandel in der Einschätzung der Bewohner.“
Prof. Wulf Tessin, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Department „Planungsbezogene Soziologie“
„Das Außenbild der Stadt Wolfsburg. Der Imagewandel aus Sicht der Experten.“
Mario S. Mensing, CIMA Beratung + Management GmbH
Chair: Uli Meyer, journalist and editor at BauNetz
GUIDED EXHIBITION TOUR 19.02.2009, 6 PM DAZ Scharoun Saal
by Nicole Froberg, Leiterin Forum Architektur der Stadt Wolfsburg
FILM SCREENING: "Für den Schwung sind Sie zuständig" 19.02.2009, 7.30 PM DAZ Taut Saal
Documentary about GDR - engineer Ulrich Müther, who built the planetarium Wolfsburg in 1983.
The writer and director Margarete Fuchs will be present. (Film in German)
More about the documentary
DAY-EXCURSION TO WOLFSBURG 06.03.2009
„70 years Wolfsburg. The arising of a ‘new’ city. 1938 – 2008.“
Please register at firstname.lastname@example.org (the number of participants is limited)
More about the programm
The arising of a new city: The DAZ presents a review on seven decades of urban development in the city of Wolfsburg. Unlike cities that have grown naturally over time, Wolfsburg looks back on shorter stages, which were closely connected and catalyzed by the industrial buildings of the Volkswagen factory. Unique in Germany, the city presents innumerous post-war architectural monuments with projects by Alvar Aalto, Hans Scharoun and Paul Baumgarten, as well as entire urban ensembles.
Today Wolfsburg is a unique and characteristic case of urban planning in Germany. The constitution of the city, originally founded as the residential area of the "Stadt des KdF-Wagens", progressed in very short stages. The exhibition is presented in seven chapters that relate to seven building types as seen through the eyes of the architects, the clients as well as its residents.
Industrial buildungs Initially the development of Wolfsburg was closely linked to the requirements of the development of the Volkswagen factory. This is why industrial architecture in Wolfsburg is primarily related to the VW-group: the high-rise headquarter, the workshops, the power station and the Autostadt. Public attention has tended to concentrate on the founding years after 1938 on one hand, and new buildings of the last decade on the other. The factory premises, covering an area almost as big as the entire residential city of Wolfsburg, developed into a town on its own over the last 70 years. There you find urban structures with offices, representative corporate buildings, leisure facilities as well as gastronomic facilities, educational institutions and shops in analogy to conventional cities.
Residential Next to the industrial facilities, residential construction became the preoccupation for further urban development in order to fulfill the pressing need to accomodate the workers flocking to this hitherto untouched area. Building activity concentrated on housing for nearly 20 years. 15.000 people lived in the young city at the end of the World War Two, ten years later Wolfsburg had 50,000 residents withlots of them in temporary accomodation. In 1957, the year when the new Hansaviertel was completed in Berlin for the International Building Fair „Interbau“, the new district Detmerode was set up in Wolfsburg. It encapsulates the very rational approach of housing and urban planning of the early nineteen sixties.
Retail and commercial The second step in the years following 1950, was to create a suitable environment for people in terms of facilities for shopping, education and their religious needs within a decentralized framework, where each district obtained its own small retail center. The first German shopping mall designed by Paul Baumgarten was opened in 1961 in this context. At the same time the urban environment for central Wolfsburg was developed. In 1950 first buildings arose along Porsche Straße, which forms a central axis between Klieversberg and the palace. It was transformed into a pedestrian area between 1977 and 1980, in line with a general trend in contemporary Germany at the time.
Educational Schools and kindergartens for the exceptionally young population needed to be built in quick succession. Two of the most striking projects are the Heilig-Geist creche by Alvar Aalto and the Stephanus creche by Hans Scharoun, completed at the end of the 1960s. Both architects took the particular needs of children into consideration for their designs.
Religious Until the mid nineteen 70s, more than 24 churches –Protestant as well as Catholic– had been built in the former National Socialist model city, which had not provided church buildings for obvious political reasons. Hence Wolfsburg now has an extraordinary range of post-war church buildings in Germany. Some highlights are the Heilig Geist and St Stephanus churches by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.
Cultural A new era of developement was entered after 1965 with the erection of large scale cultural buildings, which have become definitve landmarks in Wolfsburg`s city centre. Their inceptin was due to the overall aim not to create merely a labourers’ settlement but an entirely „real“ city. The Arts Centre again designed by Alvar Aalto opened in 1962 and became as exemplary as Hans Scharoun’s new theatre completed in 1973. The new VW theme park Autostadt completed in 2000 became the extension of the central axis through the city. And the residential city center was at long last connected with the manufacturing area via a new bridge across the Mittellandkanal. The new science exhibition center phæno, designed by London-based architect Zaha Hadid, has formed the urban counterpart to the Autostadt and another highlight of Wolfsburg`s cultural buildings.
Landscaping This has become the focus of urban development in Wofsburg over the last ten years. The aim is to set up spatial unity between the various residential areas and to enhance Wolfsburg’s potential as a tourist attraction and green city. The ample green spaces in the Autostadt, the themed park Mobilität und Bewegung inaugurated for the Landesgartenschau 2004, and the Sommerland, opened in 2006, have contributed to Wolfsburg`s new identity as a city of leisure and experience.
The exhibition presents the various layers of 70 years of city development in Wolfsburg. They are still visible in the city today, as most buildings and the urban environment remain unspoilt and in their original state. Modern architecture has shaped the face of Wolfsburg and the city today embodies the characteristics of 20th and 21st century architecture. „Typical Wolfsburg!“ offers new perspectives on modern every-day architecture like the local church, the school or the kindergarten– in Wolfsburg as well as in your own neighbourhood.
An exhibition by the city of Wolfsburg, Forum for architecture to the 70th jubilee of the city in collaboration with the housing association NEULAND, Sparkasse Gifhorn-Wolfsburg, Volkswagen Immobilien and Wolfsburg AG.
Further information about the exhibition
We kindly would like to thank:
Stadt Wolfsburg, Projekt „Lust an Entdeckungen“, Ingenieurbüro BPR, Hannover, Meier Consult, Braunschweig, PFI Planungsgemeinschaft, Hannover, Ed. Züblin AG, Wolfsburg, Architekturbüro Koller Heitmann Schütz, Wolfsburg, Planungsgruppe Benes + Partner, Wolfsburg, GfL Planungs- und Ingenieurgesellschaft, Wolfsburg, Dr.-Ing. W. Schwerdt, Büro für Stadtplanung, Braunschweig, Elektro-Germey, Wolfsburg, Moretti Haus- und Immobilienkonzepte, Wolfsburg, Vermessungsbüro Stein & Stroot, Wolfsburg, T raum a. Landschaftsarchitektur, Ingenieurbüro Milan Popovic, Braunschweig, Ingenieurbüro Pabsch & Partner, Hildesheim, O.M. Architekten, Braunschweig, Paul Keller Landschafts- und Gartenbau, Wolfsburg
Image: © Klemens Ortmeyer