At the University of Liechtenstein I had a group assignment in Community Design. I worked with three other students, Sami Akkach, Ahefaz Panjwani and Sheung Chi Ho. We were a mixed group of four different nationalities (all architects though). The task we got was to design a community intervention based on things we learned in the lectures. We picked the former US Military base Benjamin Franklin Village (BFV) in Mannheim, Germany as intervention site. The US Army moved out in 2012 and handed it to the German government which then handed it to the municipality.
Mannheim started a convesion process including competitions on how the future development of the spread out military sites could look like. An important factor for our design was the refugee reception & holding that Mannheim placed particulary on the BFV when over a million people were seeking refuge in Germany and the government was quite unprepared. The following portfolio of our work can give you an overlook of our ideas. Nevertheless, the reality is that Mannheim has already found a concept and the development of the site has started with people moving in already, some parts of the concept overlap with our ideas. Our general intention of having the site not only as a refugee holding but as permanent refugee home, including of cause locals and other people who want to live their as a mixed society, which Mannheim already represents, doesn’t play a big role in the investors plans. An interesting and beautifully presented example from the competition is by MVRDV with a very individal mixture of buildings.