Klara Bindl

Klara Bindl

Laleburg and its second town hall. RWTH Aachen (Germany)

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The project “Laleburg and its second town hall“ is a book about a fictive city. The city is described through its town hall, a building which should represent a city’s character. Rather than a design of an ideal city the book about Laleburg is a story about failure and foolishness in architecture. The town hall of Laleburg is a town hall of fools. It embodies human fallibility as a basic character of every society.

The project relates to a German expression: “Schildbu?rgerstreich“, meaning roughly “foolish act“. The expression relates from one of the first German novels “Curious tales of Laleburg“ from 1594. The original describes a city of ambitious fools, who build a bizarre world reflecting their own nature. Almost five hundred years after it was being written the book about Laleburg is as current as ever. Still visionary but failing building projects cause debates in every city.

Based on contemporary examples the new story “Laleburg and its second town hall“ looks at factors that result in foolish acts of building. Instead of being a building which is trying to avoid the inevitable, the town hall of Laleburg combines those factors and translates them to built form. The book offers a look at the city from outside. It is a tool for reading and understanding a city. The kafkaesque development of Laleburg‘s town hall emphasizes the hopelessness of reaching the ideal in a pluralistic society. The story designes an architecture which is incorporating the dilemma of human fallibility. It results into bizarre places that always come along with the story of their origin. The book indicates that rather than buildings themselves the stories which are connected to them are source for a society’s identity.

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