IMD _Institute of Media and Design

copyright _IMD


LAST EXIT MICHENORF _Design of a motorway church along the former BRD-GDR-transit-route from Helmstedt to Berlin

"Travelling in this country is once again approaching medieval proportions: Our highways are battlefields, their lanes hazardously patchworked, bridges disintegrate to the risk factor. Trains? The German Railways scrimps by lack of track maintenance, outdated ICE train cars and the temporary closure of city railway stations, yet at the same time they are stuffing billions into the black hole called Stuttgart 21. Airplanes? Just recently, the message going around the world was that air traffic will generally have huge delays. Strikes from air traffic controllers are making travel plans increasingly imponderable, and the future of the permanent construction site Berlin-Schönefeld is everything other than reliant. Against this background, the forgotten phrase 'Only praying can help' wins new relevance. Simply said: Analogous to travel risk is the increasing demand for security. This brings a building type into view, which has long been viewed as a side issue: the motorway church." Dieter Bartetzko

This analysis of Bartetzko is trenchant, however it makes a point: The life model of modernity, 'mobility', having almost entirely positive connotations, is in crisis. Since this mobility is also bought by permanent digital (self) control (smart phones, faceBook, NSA), with ubiquitous mobility also comes the extensive mediatization of our lives under close scrutiny.

In this respect, this project of a motorway church is subversive and dialectic: it focuses on the one hand on the design of a 'Time-Out-Zone', which, according to the topic, deals with analog, classic architectural questions such as: form-finding, lighting, spacial atmosphere and on the other hand we are working with the most advanced digital tools that now dictate the digital scene.

Directed by: Prof. Matthias Karch with Daniel Büning