+ Works

Made of Plattenbau

Academic, individual, 2022
Instructor: René Davids, Greg Castillo
UC Berkeley Design Studio

Collected in Dessau Effect 3  | 2022


Due to shrinkage and decay after unification, the city of Dessau has been demolishing prefabricated concrete panel buildings called Plattenbaus, that are abandoned or decaying and no longer needed. Rather than depositing the panels in landfills, this kiosk project recycles them as construction material.

Inspired by the Triadic Ballet with its geometric representation of the human body, the panels are layered cut, and re-assembled into an almost solid cube that is then notionally carved by the ballets figures to form usable spaces. By re-enlivening the building technology, the kiosk dignifies people’s memories that are more complex and mixed than the despised politics of the East German regime.


The wood pavilion main organizing structure is an elevated spine built using the same technique of cutting into the layered Plattenbaus panels used for the kiosk. The spine is the main exhibition space and also designed as a virtual solid that is cut out to generate room or  sub-rooms of different sizes designed to give individual objects and drawings their own space and providing visitors with focused time to appreciate the exhibited work.

The rest of the program, classrooms, workshops, café, and artist’s residences are housed on the ground floor. Roofed with wooden rafters that are lowest towards the east and slope downwards in the western direction, the pavilion offers different degrees of privacy. For example, the workshop is placed facing the road and allows passers-by to observe the activity taking place inside. The café is set at the eastern end of the building, where the tallest roof provides patrons with a lofty space with maximum transparency.