ModulM-Arch-T P(15) Design Studio 1
Arch M E.01 Entwurfsprojekt Hochbau I
SWS / LP8 / 12
Qispos-number 40375 (M-ARCH) \ 2347234 (M-ARCH-T)
Supervisor WM Daniel Korwan (Studio)
WM Johanna Moser (PIV)
Attainment Portfolio
Participants 6 (ARCH) / 6 (M-ARCH-T)
Place / time / 1st sessionApril 23rd, 10 AM (Zoom Meeting)
Enrollment Course Selection via ISIS (M-ARCH-T)
Course Selection via ISIS (M-ARCH)


++ UPDATE 2++
Our first studio meeting will take place on Thursday (April 23rd) at 10AM. Participants will be informed via E-Mail and will be provided with an access link to the Zoom-meeting.

We are looking forward to meeting you!

A virtual Q&A-session will be held on Tuesday, April 14th at 3pm using meet@innocampus. You can join using your TUB-Credentials. If you cannot make it at that time, please feel free to drop us a line.

This Studio is the second in line of a series of „Obsolete Typologies“ studios.

Please have a look at our Instagram account to obtain a first impression on our studio work.

The studio is open for both M-ARCH-T and regular M-ARCH students. The studio language is English.


Upon its opening in 1979 Rathaus-Center Ludwigshafen was a huge, state-of-the-art hybrid structure. As such it followed a general trend to merge the types of town hall, shopping mall and transport hub, thereby reinterpreting the traditional city layout that had always been characterized by the proximity of market and town hall. 

In the specific case of Ludwigshafen, the building not only worked as the city center but also managed to establish a connection between previously separated districts, working as a quasi-public space. 

In 2020 Rathaus-Center is one of the few remaining icons from an era of prosperity and faith in growth and progress – and as such an important component in the city’s collective memory. Nevertheless, its future is more than insecure:

From Hochstraße Nord to The Stadtstraße
Starting in 2021 the city of Ludwigshafen will initiate the demolition of the adjacent elevated highway Hochstraße Nord and eventually replace it with a Stadtstraße at ground level. These changes will bring hitherto forgotten and unused inner-city spaces to the center of attention, eventually leading to the conceptualization of the urban development area “City-West” that will become one of the largest in Germany. 
As part of this inner-city redevelopment, the Rathaus-Center (that technically consists of the shopping mall, the town hall, the parking garage and the underground tram-station) finds itself being subject to many discussions.
Not only will the changes dramatically alter the urban environment, they will also severely affect the Rathaus-Center itself as the whole northern wing of the center will also have to be demolished, leaving a crippled center that will no longer be able to operate. 
Like most buildings from this era, the Mall will not only require an in-depth energy-retrofitting, it is also suffering from an inefficient plan that contains huge spaces with no access to daylight.
The situation in the tower is also highly problematic: It is suffering from a very poor ratio of serving/served spaces, the facade needs to be retrofitted and fire regulations will make it necessary for the last remaining users to it was partially refurbished and has already been liberated from asbestos due to updated fire regulations, only the first 5 floors remain used. With the closing of the shopping mall at the end of 2021, these floors will also be vacated, leaving the ensemble empty and obsolete (the subway station will remain in operation for a few more years before it is moved to the new track on the east of the building). 
Given these preconditions and the required financial investments, the municipality is currently considering the destruction of the whole ensemble.

Taming the Monster
During the almost three years of construction, enormous amounts of energy and resources were buried on site. 

Given the situation of our planet, making a decision as to whether to destroy or refurbish  a building solely based on monetary considerations is no longer feasible and can be named irresponsible.  Instead we will treat the existing built environment as the foundation of the design process where it works as a framework that is awaiting a spatial and functional transformation.

The studio will identify the dormant spatial opportunities inherent to the existing structure, addressing topics such as verticality, diversity of spaces, connections and thresholds and seek proposals for a tamed Rathaus-Center.

In our integrated course (PIV) we will pursue an alternative approach towards the topic of energy. With the obsolescence of the building comes the obsolescence of  the technical building systems that leave us with now useless, yet enormous spaces full of ducts and pipes..During the process of reconfiguring the architectural spaces of the ensemble, we will also redesign the energy-flows between the different elements.