hintergrund 04 contains three texts written for the 6th Vienna Architecture Congress on the theme "Hearts of Europe - Bypasses, Implants and Magnets for the Cities" in 1997, taking a look at Barcelona, Moscow and London.
Authors: Crystal Clear, Richard Burdett, Johannes Kaiser-Wortmann, Karl Schlögel
“When the rhythm of a city slows down, and the vibrant life of a city dies out, politicians and urban planners resort to new medical stimulants. It moves and changes the flow of vital energy, captures the attention of residents and refocuses it on the heart of the city: meaning the new lures for old and moribund city centers, by-passes, magnets or implants. They do not happen by chance, but are deliberately planned and carried out in view of the new urbanization of Europe, or in other words, they are occupied with different guiding principles: Well-known and famous architecture boldly intervenes in old urban structures, breaks them up, explodes and provokes the traditional framework with spectacular projects. Concrete architectural intervention is regaining importance. Image-building projects, together with reurbanization projects, are figureheads for a new optimism …” (Birgit Seissl)