Sunday, May 31, 2009

Virtualmuseum presentation + Vilém Flusser evening

Virtual Museum
Architecture summer in Dresden II
On friday 29th of May Ruairí O'Brien gave a talk about the virtual museum he is working on.
The project has gone through many development stages since its conception in 1998. The intention was to create a perfect twin sister to the Erich kästner museum now situated in the Villa Augustin in Dresden. Accompanying the talk he presented a book from Vilém Flusser called "Kommuniologie weiter denken" Die Bochumer Vorlesungen. Fischer Verlag. This fomed the background for a very interesting discussion among the viisitors.

Betonzeitschiene 2009 - Plattenbaumuseum Dresden

Museum for pre-cast concrete housing
Architecture summer in Dresden I
On the 17th of May Ruairí O'Brien gave a talk about the actual situation and future of the concrete garden project named "Betonzeitschiene" also known as the "Plattenbaumuseum" in Dresden or in english, The museum for pre-cast concrete housing.

"The project is a wonderful example of what simple architecture ideas can mean to inner city life. The project I concieved and have been developing in public space since 2004 demonstrates very effectively that large sums of money or not required to produce architectural projects of quality and real worth. In 2004 I was asked by local residents if I could develop a concept that would help them revitalise a large piece of post industrial urban wasteland situated in the heart of the famous Barock city of Dresden. The Project has gone through several stages of development, politically and artistically. see the website mentioned above for further detail. A final version is planned in 2010."
Ruairí O'Brien

"A further museum project on the site of the former prefabricated concrete slab factory in Dresden's Johannstadt district is a work of urban landscape art which is also based on my microarchitectural concept. Here also, development processes are concerned, as are analysis, deconstruction and visualisation by combining architectural elements in a new way, as well as viewing the world in miniature to help understand the real world and the relativeness of size. The aim is to implement the methodology of making wholes from parts , to hint at the macro world in a pointed selection of fragments, combining past and present through the living preservation of historical monuments in a resource-saving architectural drama.
On a 70-hectare site in the middle of the Johannstadt residential area, the Johannstadt Prefabricated Concrete Slab Factory produced concrete slabs for socialist housing construction projects from 1958 until it was shut down in 1990. The factory in Dresden was particularly important, as it was one of the first prefabricated slab factories in the GDR. The ruins of the city destroyed by bombing were not transported away, they were recycled for reconstruction. The bricks were ground to chippings, mixed with cement and subsequently pressed to form stone blocks and slabs. In my opinion the prefabricated concrete housing is just as much a part of Dresden's identity as the Frauenkirche or the Semper Opera House. With my concept for Germany's first concrete slab construction museum and with the support of a small group of local residents who called themselves the IG Platte it was possible to negotiate with the city over the interim use of the site and we were granted a strip of land 15 meters wide and 100 meters long at the edge of the former factory grounds to work on. The remainder of the grounds, having been unused for eleven years, was cleared for demolition under pressure from an association of neighbouring residents. During the demolition work I worked with the IG platte to save what fragments we thought would be need to tell the story of the site: the old, now renovated porter’s lodge, an original street lamp from the factory, the old gravel silo and approximately 50 tonnes of building materials - brick chippings, steel frames, welded wire mesh, a concrete bathroom cell, colored tiles, mosaic elements, external wall slabs and moulded concrete blocks and panels. "

Ruairí O'Brien 2007

The above text is taken from a "lecture" I gave at the University of Galwy in 2007

Later published in full in "Environmental argument and cultural difference, Locations, Fractures and Deliberations.

Ricca Edmondson and Henrike Rau (eds)

Peter Lang