The „Old Canteen“ in Wismar’s Friedenshof neighbourhood has seen better days. Although this shell construction has been conceived by the renowned East German Engineer Ulrich Müther, it seems to fall into oblivion. Müther who collaborated for this building with the architects Arno Claus Martin and Siegfried Fischer, influenced with his innovative and distinctive structures not only the Architecture of the former GDR. Through his international work, for example in Stettin (Poland) or Vantaa (Finland) he also shaped the European cultural heritage.
Designed as a district centre and meeting place in the 70s, the canteen is nowadays part of the urban regeneration process named „Stadtumbau2018“. Whereas demolition, conversion and loss of identity were the results of such processes in the early years of this millennium, the current development faces completely different challenges: demand for new housing due to a rising number of residents. But growing individuality and alienation as well as digitalisation contrast with the original East-German „Plattenbau“-design philosophy. Memories and the longing for lost values such as solidarity, mutual aide and empathy are suddenly reflecting in our rear-view mirror. The place stays the same… but the point of view changes during this urban development process.
As the local group of the Chamber of architects in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern we accompany the transformation process and have initiated a day of action the 8th of September 2018. We invite local residents, private and public stake holders to an exhibition and workshop that aims to promote fresh ideas and development by reflecting the past.