Urhuette: Beginning With Basics. What Is Architecture?


Urhuette: Beginning With Basics. What Is Architecture?

An architectural installation for kids 9-14 years old

The installation “Beginning with Basics. What is Architecture?” takes children and young people back to the imaginary beginnings of architecture in order to re-envision its future.

The notion of the Primitive Hut - “Urhütte” in German – runs as a concept through the history of modern architectural theory. It was used in order to refocus the discipline in moments of crisis and to remind architects of their humble beginnings. The aesthetic and technological immediacy of the Primitive Hut, real or imagined, served for example as a means to criticize architectural practices from ecological, social, and economical perspectives. Both powerful and simple in its imagery, this concept is very well understood and received by children. By learning about the parable-like theory of the Primitive Hut and by experiencing the construction of simple spaces with different techniques, children are equipped with first-hand knowledge of both the practical and the theoretical basics of architecture. At the same time, the work on the Hut promotes collaboration, critical testing, and environmental awareness of all kinds.

In the exhibition children will directly experience the story of the Hut: There is the grass of a riverbank to engage in knotting, weaving and the world of fabrics; there is a forest for visitors to explore the marvels of woodworking; and there is a cave to get immersed in all things stony, bricks and mortar. In the middle of the scenery, a veritable garden of architectural knowledge, there is a site where new huts are being planned according to scale and measurement, constructed and assembled collectively. Material science, spatial memory, social skills are all playfully exercised in order to once again set the architectural world in motion for the better future we all urgently need. Practice and theoretical questions happily merge when children are encouraged to rethink architecture in its simplest but ultimately most complex relationships.

Workshops for schools will take place every workday. On Saturday and Sunday workshops for kids and their parents will take place. The installation is on view for the general public, when no workshops take place, from 10 am to 6 pm every day except Saturdays.