Imke Wömmel

Imke Wömmel

Rituals, a space for everything. RWTH Aachen (Germany)

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Rituals are regularly performed gatherings of people with same interests; they could be motivated by religion, politics or belief and defined by a special reunion without a preset timetable or location. Involving the evolution of society towards multifaceted groups of interests, a location for rituals requires a whole new definition. 

A room for a ritual should therefore be designed as a multipurpose space, adopting the conditions of each ritual held. The title, Rituals, a space for everything and nothing, describes the inverse definitions that should be adopted by the spot: transparent but secure, charged with energy but neutral, clear but flexible, collective but individual.

The spot for this proposal is located on an island within the Bachtal valley, situated on the ground of Aachen´s RWTH University. The Space is not only designed to host events like distinctions, receptions, balls and other festivities, it should also be a room for exhibitions and informal gatherings of students.

Based on the multifunctional character of the building it is free from symbolism related to specific groups. That´s why it is essential to use universal design elements from nature to characterise the building. Detached from the surrounded urban structure, this site reflects its green, hilly landscape. The ritual´s space is specified by its floor and its ceiling, which is a naturally random composition of pillars, structure and rooflights.

Overlooking the spot from its reception, you walk down the path to the main hall through an interspace to embrace the spot´s distinct environment. This space is meant as a meditation path before you arrive to the actual ritual, taking seat on the stairs . For each ritual the space can be divided by curtains in differently sized units, to satisfy the specific needs of each ritual.

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