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Folke Köbberling und Martin Kaltwasser
BUILDING MATERIAL CENTRE - A compilation of Zurich resources, sighted and secured by Folke Köbberling and Martin Kaltwasser for a downtown satellite of the Shedhalle. (2007)

We have invited Folke Köbberling and Martin Kaltwasser to launch the Thematic Project Series. The title of their new work Building Material Centre – A compilation of Zurich resources, sighted and secured by Folke Köbberling and Martin Kaltwasser for a downtown satellite of the Shedhalle – already provides a description of one component in the motivation and the planning and formation process. For their projects they use the “city as a resource” and draw on materials they find in urban spaces, for example in containers or on building sites. The finds will be sorted in a materials store and exhibited to the public, before, in a second step, being used to build a satellite house.

Folke Köbberling and Martin Kaltwasser, live and work Berlin
Since 1998 the emphasis of our artistic activities has been the urban space as an experimental field. We worked on topics concerning the public sphere, surveillance tactics, illegality and self-organization. Up until now we have realized installations, exhibits and interventions in the urban space and thus attempting to question city life in the context of privatization and economization, to transform it through practical examples of temporary use and informal methods as well as to show possibilities for its enlivenment and repossession.

What we refer to as the “city as a resource” is a recognition of the value of impulse, communication, conflict, surprise moments and the quality of the free use of the urban public space. This includes, of course, leaving behind things for others. The recognition of the city as a resource and the use of public space in this manner is an objective of scorn for the proponents and stooges of the neoliberal and entrepreneurial privatized city and order fanatics. Both strive with all means available to eradicate the creative places, the free stores, the grey market economy and its visible structural existence in the city.

In the Shedhalle a Building Material Center emerged. We collected material, which was supposed to have been thrown away, sorted and arranged it as in a professional building center.
In autumn a downtown satellite of the Shedhalle will be built out of the material in and of the Building Material Center.

A Satellite for the Shedhalle

In February 2007 we collected discarded and unwanted materials throughout the entire Zurich urban area which we then sorted and stacked and put on show for Zurich residents in the 18 shelves of our Building Materials Centre. Now a Shedhalle satellite is to be constructed from these materials. In the form of a pavilion it will be located on Zurich’s Werdplatz in the direct vicinity of the restaurant Cooperativo. The form and location of the satellite refer to its surrounds by accompanying the existing footways and providing lots of sitting areas. The satellite is to act as a counterpart to the gastronomic outside furnishings of the Cooperativo, to the Cooperativo itself, and the bench that until now has stood forlornly alone on the square. The satellite reforms the square on all sides, forming a temporary centre point open to all members of the public.

The satellite is made up of four shelf modules, out of which a central interior space is formed. Shifting the shelf modules creates a protrusion that in turn forms two constructions jutting out into the exterior space which may be used for varying purposes, for instance as a projection screen, storage, passageway, hammock mountings, etc.

Contingent on the Zurich finds we have collected as part of the project, design and architectural elements like facades, seating and podiums will be constructed. This will be an open-ended, ad hoc process. Individual parts of the facade, podiums and benches may well reach into public space. We will specify and construct these elements during the building process in terms of the concrete situation.

Project development

The Werdplatzpalais, venue of the Shedhalle in autumn/winter 2007, was dismantled in January 2008. This project is now entering its third phase: the materials found and collected throughout Zurich, then sorted and shown in the Shedhalle before being used for the construction of the Werdplatzpalais, has attracted the attention of a new interested party. In spring / summer the material has re-entered the public realm for a third time. The community centre Loogarten in Altstetten asked the artists to build another house with and for children and youths, collaborating with the artists. A new, usable architectural piece has been developed for children and youths: the Mica?l Filiale Altstetten.

1.) BUILDING MATERIAL CENTRE – A compilation of Zurich resources, sighted and secured by Folke Köbberling and Martin Kaltwasser for a downtown satellite of the Shedhalle. (spring 2007)

2.) Werdplatzpalais (autumn-winter 2007)

3.) Filiale Mica?l Altstetten (since summer 2008)

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