Our collaborative «Langstrasse with Love – Rogue Urbanism» research aims to develop new building typologies in response to gentrification processes in one of Zurich’s most diverse and inclusive areas, the Langstrasse district. Together with the Chair of Sociology, Prof. Dr. Schmid, and the ETH CASE / Wohnforum, Dr. Tanja Herdt, students of the Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) investigated the neighbourhood in and around Langstrasse during the Spring Semester Studio 2018. This research operates in parallel with our work on the Diploma A topic (urban scale), and with the elective course, «ACTION! On the Real City – Observe, Record: Langstrasse».
Zurich’s Langstrasse: simultaneously a street, a neighbourhood and an urban laboratory model. Our research into this historic district calls for higher environmental qualities, as well as broader freedoms in expressing and re-configuring one’s place in the city. One of the densest areas in Zurich, the Langstrasse district makes it difficult to find conventional empty plots for intervention. Rather, we work in existing contexts, considering these sites to be the foundation for future projects.
Ideas to Strengthen the Identity of Langstrasse
During our Design Studio, students responded to the challenge of finding counterstrategies to the gentrification of the Langstrasse district by developing alternative architectural projects, involving the creation of urban building prototypes within the interstitial spaces around the Langstrasse itself. To get a historical and discursive sense of the field site, the Design Studio team worked together with the Chair of Sociology of Prof. Dr. Christian Schmid and the ETH CASE/ Wohnforum, Dr. Tanja Herdt.
After initial social and urban analyses of the Langstrasse, each student defined a programme for an architectural project that could strengthen the identity of Langstrasse. The interventions were developed as replicable prototypes, interacting amongst themselves and with the neighbourhood according to the different needs of the residents.
Urban-Think Tank, Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner, Melanie Fessel, Scott Lloyd.