July 16 – 21, 2018

The ADGB School as a Landmark: A speculation on the Future

Raquel Franklin

The idea of continuous renewal, of an architecture able to respond to the demands of the time and society that occupies it, stands at the core of the modern movement. The ADGB School building in Bernau hasn’t been alien to transformation, though not necessarily in a good way. Throughout its history, it has radically changed from a trade-union training school to military facilities during the Nazi and GDR periods. After thorough restoration to a great extent to its original shape, last year it has been added to the UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage. The 1929 ADGB School was the result of an architectural competition won by the Swiss architects Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer, at the time working at the Bauhaus, the former as Director while the latter in the architectural workshop. The development of the building and its contents counted with the participation of Bauhaus students, from work in the construction site, to the design of furniture and tapestries. The innovative program, its response to the landscape and its social purpose made it an exemplary work.

The renewed image of the building doesn’t fit, however, its current potential. The facilities are not being used to their full capacity and new ideas and understanding of the site are not only welcomed but necessary. The aim of the workshop will be to speculate about potential new uses for the building and develop a preliminary architectural proposal, considering the challenges that the building itself imposes, as well as those derived from its new status as a landmark.

Best suited for: Architects

Course languages: English

What to bring: Laptop, drawing materials, all sorts of modelmaking materials that you would like to work with.

Dr. Raquel Franklin coordinates the Department of the theory of architecture at Universidad Anáhuac México Norte, where she also teaches on the History of Modern and Contemporary Architecture. She obtained her Doctor of Science degree in Architecture from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in 1997 with her dissertation “Hannes Meyer in Mexico (1939-1949)”. She holds a Master of Architecture degree in the restoration of monuments from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and a Master of Arts in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University.
Dr. Franklin is a founding member of the Mexican Chapter of DOCOMOMO. From June 2013 to December 2014 she was a fellow of Germany’s Kulturstiftung des Bundes at the Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, working on the exhibition “The Coop Principle: Hannes Meyer and the Idea of Collective Design” together with Dr. Werner Möller. After opening in the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation in 2015, the exhibition traveled to Lausanne in 2016 and Mexico City in 2017.