On the initiative of the Institute for Design Practice and Art Science at Leibniz University Hannover, access to the institute’s own branch at Königsworther Platz was to be redesigned. In order to draw attention to the variety of events and exhibitions, the gallery spaces, which are almost inaccessible from the outside, should be brought into the public eye.
In terms of content, the realized artwork “Bridge to the Arts” and the gallery “Look and Think”, which is anchored in the ground, are closely related since the existing gallery structure is thematically portrayed as a pedestal and container for art, and the bridge floating on that pedestal is reflected artistically.
The gallery itself is integrated into the sculptural concept to the point of becoming independent and upgraded as a sculptural element. This means that the final piece, composed of these two elements, stands at the interface between public and private. This space will connect the inner world with the outer world, the quiet garden of the university with the city’s cultural mile in a symbiotic relationship. As a servant transmitter, the bridge component hovers precisely above the existing concrete staircase, serving as a delineator and reinforcing the only access to the gallery.
A forecourt can be used as a space for exhibitions by approaching the artwork directly at its base. In contrast to the bustling urban environment of Königsworther Platz, the garden area of the former Villa Simon offers a quiet, introverted setting. In addition, it appears to have fallen out of use and time. In historical terms, this garden space is a romanticized version of the landscape garden idea in the 19th century. It is scaled down to suit the bourgeois context, which is then reinterpreted in a contemporary manner via its edges. Both the inside and outside spaces are therefore designed to serve upcoming art productions; a clearly defined frame contrasts with a gently flowing frame. The artwork forms the interface between public and private space, balancing the indoor and outdoor worlds, the quiet garden area with the busy outdoor area at Königsworther Platz. In a sense, the bridge becomes a bridging mechanism, entrance accentuation and gateway, depending on the routing and combining of the components.
From an urban planning and artistic point of view, contextualization and minimization also refer to the longitudinal extension of the former terrace line oriented towards Königsworther Platz. The “bridge to the arts” links the outer tree population with the inner tree population, forming an intersection between the building terrace and garden above the existing staircase. By using the bridge artwork as a means of designating the former terrace facing Königsworther Platz as public space, the area is now more clearly accessible.
Architecture offices involved in the design: B + G Ingenieure Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH
Location: Am Königworther Platz, Villa Simon, Hannover, Germany
Design year: 2015
Year Completed: 2021
Photo: Nikolai Benner