052-0566-21L  Formalistic Analysis of the Architecture of the Neo-Liberal Ideology: Europaallee

SemesterSpring Semester 2021
LecturersE. Christ, C. Portmann
Periodicityevery semester recurring course
Language of instructionGerman
CommentNumber of participants limited to 12.

This course is offered until end of HS22.

AbstractUsing the example of Zurich's Europaallee, the elective examines the architecture that produces the neoliberal ideology. Based on the method of historical building surveys, the formal-architectural properties are described, analyzed and finally summarized in the sense of a formal catalog of neoliberal architecture.
ObjectiveThe participants critically deal with contemporary urban and building production from a design perspective. By applying the method of the course, they learn the ability to describe and analyze the formal-architectural properties of architecture.
ContentThe Europaallee was created and advertised as fulfilling the highest demands that can currently be made on architecture and planning by the SBB, a publicly owned company, in close cooperation with the authorities of the city of Zurich. Just completed, in the Swiss context it exemplifies the self-image of what 'good planning' and 'good politics' are with regard to the development of urban space.
Instead of comprehending the complex planning process and accepting the built as a consequence, the elective turns the analysis 'head on its feet': What kind of quarter, piece of city has been realized? If objects cannot lie (cf. Bulle, Heinrich: Handbuch der Archäologie, Munich 1913), the ideology of the planning process can also be read from the architecture itself, provided that it is questioned methodically and precisely. Therefore, the elective is based on a formal-architectural analysis of Europaallee. In a first step, based on the scientific method of historical building surveys, the urban spaces, building structures, facades, entrances, etc. are described in detail in order to identify possible architectural principles and typological properties of the overall project in a second step. In a final step, the results from this formal-architectural analysis are summarized in the sense of a formal catalog of neoliberal architecture.