home♥land

home♥land
home♥land
home♥land
home♥land
home♥land
home♥land
home♥land
home♥land
home♥land
home♥land
home♥land
home♥land
home♥land

The featured artist is a Japanese -born sculptor Tadashi Kawamata.  He was born in 1953 on the island of Hokkaido, Japan and Enjoyed global acclaim since 1980 Kawamata has exhibited his work in the most prestigious galleries (NY, London, Paris...) and participated in Venice Biennal, Documenta in Kassel and Biennal in Sao Paulo, to name a few. Tree huts are said to work as a crystallization of Kawamata’s interest in the architecture of shelter and of the insertion of private objects into public spaces – In addition of Madison Square Garden’s tree huts, the artist has builded them worldwide: Norway, France and Switzerland, to name a few. According to critics his works are “known for connecting the everyday, more functional object to art, bonding the individual and society.” In his work political and social aspect is present, due the location and the media he uses: technique relies on found wood material. The structure of tree huts follows loosely a plan; style is organic and improvisational. Unplanned structure resembles viewer from slums that takes place in the borderlines of big cities, such as favelas in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) or Shanty Town in Soweto (South Africa). Kawamata questions the meaning of home. By placing shack-like house high up on view, he makes something visible that society rather would keep it hidden. When looking his tree huts, there´s a plenty of room for association: summer cottages as a place for refuge, childhood memories with tree houses, and downgraded lifestyle with simple needs. It also reminds us from the poor people to whom the definition of home is something much more modest as the regular citizen has in developed countries.

My approach to Kawamata´s work is to trying to look for an answer to the question he asks. How do we see the definition of home? Besides of homelessness, tree huts reminds me from simple life, a collectiveness that frontiersmen gained when working together for the new land. It provokes me to think about what is good place to live in and does the definition of happiness really relies at the shoulders of contemporary urban architecture. Are we really happy when we are stacked next to each other, separated from other people with four walls? When it comes to Marzahn, I find it as a textbook example to explore a new way for collectiveness that modern architecture too often pushes aside. Strolling on a Marzahner promenade you couldn´t help for getting noticed the striking architecture that covers the whole neighborhood: wide houses with monotonic window and balcony setting, some rising up to 18th floor. The flip side of the coin is that eventhough the planned architecture allows huge amount people living next to each other, they hardly get involved with each other. The alienation of the residents births always more social problems and lowers the public comfort.

My proposal for urban intervention in Marzahn looks for a solution for this issue. My concept, Home♥Land, is based on the collective activeness of housing companies of marzahn. Germany is known of its enthusiasm on gardening. Allotments, abudant backyard plantings, balcony herbs and guerrilla gardening spawns all around Berlin and other german cities. Wherever there´s soil, there´s a seed sprouting. However, according to my observations in Marzahner Promenade, the only hints from gardening is limited to the balconies. Apartment house areas are always lacking the space that own yard brings with. By deploying the surfaces that the apartment houses´ facades has to offer, there´s a whole new area for planting, only the direction is different –vertical. Climbers are among the most adaptable vertical plants. Those with self-attaching roots can clad a wall in foliage without any outside support. Such as Morning glory (Ipomoea), can reach a height of 10 feet in as little as 8 weeks. In addition many of them are evergreen as well. The intervention relies on flexibility that can be adapted to any house. In my example, I chose a standard apartment house from the Marzahner Promenade. The housing company starts the planting through from the windows that are picked by volunteered inhabitants. When the growth reaches to the neighbors´ windows, (s)he can participate the growing with their personal selection of plant from the wide range of climbing plant race. Simple windowsill attachment with flowerpots helps the climbers to get started. After initial preparation adaptable wall ivy takes care of itself. As the time goes by, the only thing that the participant is expected to be done is to rest its eyes on growing season while the nature takes care of the rest; extensive surface of the facade gathers all the neccessary sunlight and watering. In addition the growing flora attracts animals, such as birds and insects broaden the intervention to a state of biotope. The concept is a call for game where every window can participate. The end result is an open template which appearance relies on every participants´ personal touch. Once the plantation is started, it grows by its own and is not dependent on administration, the customization from the windows is just an tempting offer.