Multifunctional complex and public space Dorotheen Quartier | The Plan
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Multifunctional complex and public space Dorotheen Quartier

A New Urban Heart

Behnisch Architekten

Europa | Stoccarda

One, if not the recurrent “theme” of Stefan Behnisch’s architecture is the square, or court. The epitome of the gathering place, where anything can happen, the square is a space enclosed by a protective curtain offering a series of glimpsed views. A place of muted voices or strident cries, at times heightened by silence, the square is first and foremost a permeable space where people move as if in a quietly flowing fluid, here and there forming small eddies that pause and gather, momentarily breaking what seems a never-ending flux. Behnisch’s mastery lies in his ability to create forms from a hierarchy of volumes whose different features set up a series of focal points and perspectives. An example is his seminal project of 1998 for IBN - the Institute for Forestry and Nature Research, now Alterra - in Wageningen, where several planted courts provide a series...

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