Freya Winkelmann

Freya Winkelmann

StadtBad Gadderbaum. RWTH Aachen (Germany)

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In the summer of 2013 the gates of the public swimming pool Gadderbaum remained closed for the first time since its establishment in 1974. In 1997 and 2006 the outdoor bath should be closed already, as renovation was urgently required. Engaged citizens were able to maintain the pool through many volunteer hours of work. In 2010 the council members approved the maintenance of the bath but the decision was reversed in May 2013.
The particular feature of the swimming pool, embedded in the foothills of the Teutoburg Forest, is its location in the center of the v. Bodelschwinghsche Stiftungen Bethel. It was an important integrative site for the community.
The StadtBad Gadderbaum is characterized by own rules. The people‘s self-understanding forms a specific normality and creates a place that is always accessible and independently usable for its visitors, guests, residents and travelers who passing by. Like a woven pattern the place combines different typologies of the bath and creates relationships between - existing, hidden, forgotten and past - spaces. The citizens are creating their own public space, which develops into a place of urban neighbourhood, community, cooperation and leisure (social acceleration).
The local craftsmanship of the v. Bodelschwinghsche Stiftungen Bethel are part of the process. City and foundation participate. Responsibility cannot be ignored.
The architecture rediscovers the place, works with the already existing, reinterprets, completes and designs new possibilities. Gardens, view relations, open and closed spaces, changing light impressions and the element water are composing a place resting in a landscape garden. Different movement flows and rhythms shaping the place its own characteristic atmosphere.
The architect acts in the social structures, creates architecture through existing possibilities within the economic conditions and reconciles the local participants, which do not know whether to run forward or reverse, in balance.

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