Public space is under pressure – commercialized for economic interests, abused as a playground for event culture, and maneuvered into insignificance through private acts of self-staging. Is its original function as a forum for public life coming to an end? At the same time, there are ever more standards, regulations, and requirements designed to guarantee safety and functionality. Does this reduce the creative possibilities for new architecture to react to the specifics of the location? If so, how are buildings being affected by these processes?
The exhibition “InnenAussen” (InsideOutside) by :mlzd searches for answers to these questions. Their installation, based on a typical motif from the toolbox of these Biel-based architects, takes the form of an oversized staircase. Liberated from purpose, it dares to blur the boundaries between exhibition space, “terrace” extension, and public urban space. At first glance, it seems to be a signal sent out to the city; on closer inspection, the installation invites visitors to engage in a precise examination of space and atmosphere. It also generates its own reality, in which the megalomaniac, ephemeral melancholy of Karl Marx Allee can be perceived in a new light.
:mlzd was founded in Biel, Switzerland in 1997. Since then, the office has completed more than 70 projects and won 35 first prizes in competitions. Currently :mlzd is realizing, among others, the Stade de la Tuilière soccer stadium in Lausanne, the new Hotel Aarauerhof in Aarau, as well as the Tempelhof Airport visitor center in Berlin.