The Wall, Bologna 2017

Awards, The Wall Bologna


3rd prize, project in cooperation with Stefan Gruber

The city as a place of human diversity manifests itself in zones of public accessibility and assembly. Bologna’s outstandingly nuanced public spaces are characterised not only by rich plazas and Renaissance building compositions, but especially by a diverse route guidance system composed of arcades, passages and alleys. These interurban open spaces are key elements for the functioning city organism. Almost like a porous membrane they allow the city to operate and to breathe.

Whilst urban integration forms one reality in Bologna, the language of exclusion and reservation is a globally present one. Political borders have long become boundaries of mind- sets, where human existences are labelled and categorized across the globe.

It is the design’s objective to insert and make visible the alien elements that surround us. Restriction signs and areas of prohibition, exclusive accesses and separated entries are part of a reality experienced by most people while making their way through the city. By restricting the access to arcades, plazas and alleys in Bologna’s city centre, these porous parts of the urban fabric are suddenly turned into walls. Whilst they still form passages for some groups of people, the restricted zones act as a solid barrier for others. It is the wall of the 21st century that does not consist of stones, mortar and bricks any longer. – A wall of nothing but solid words, shaped by exclusion and marginalisation.