Architecture / Workshop / Teaching – ConstructLab Baupalast, Berlin, 2020
BAKING FUTURES III
Heating a wood-fire oven takes time, as does the preparation of the bread dough. In contrast to the quick sandwich on hand, such a process seems enigmatic. Only in the second moment does it become apparent that, even in today's city, care and time are important ingredients that shape our cityscape.
For a decade, active citizen initiatives have been fueling the public discussion about the future of the town hall block, in order to have turned it into a model urban development project that is committed to the cooperative participation of the city community, developers and administration. In the open process, it is now clear that everything will be constantly changing over the next few years on the extensive site in the center of Berlin, between Kreuzberg and Schöneberg.
The fireplace has been at the centre of communication and exchange ever since humans first started gathering, cooking and sharing food around it. Yet nowadays, it has been widely abandoned, hidden or transformed within fast-paced contemporary lifestyles. Beyond the primary functions of feeding hungry stomachs and providing heat, its value ranges from the ability to connect people and support constructive dialogue, to providing a sensual and archaic experience of material transformation.
Today, such values are substituted by global and industrial market offering, obscuring ones more basic needs such as simple and healthy nutrition behind artificially planted cravings which continuously change alongside global trends. Bread constitutes a basic but diversified staple of most culture’s culinary traditions but is today one of the most underrated and exploited products on the market.