Design Studio WS 18/19

Retz hat Platz: Visionen für 2021


Two properties at the southwest corner of the main square in Retz are to be put to a new use. Partial vacancies and numerous areas largely without daylight in the area of the historic properties call for appropriate uses and proposals for targeted reorganization. However, the protection of historical monuments and ensembles within the framework of the main square make any approach seem difficult. Visions and compromises had to be presented, which illuminate the area of tension accordingly.

If one considers the present designs, the functional breadth of the proposals in relation to the two different properties quickly becomes apparent. The narrower – rather longitudinally stretched – property of the Zottl-Haus proves to be a “real” challenge on closer inspection, especially with regard to the lighting, particularly in the rear area (towards Vinzenziplatz). The supply of light and openness thus becomes, as it were, inevitably the core issue of almost every project. It is therefore not surprising that partial demolition or even radical deconstruction become serious issues. The location directly on Retz’s main square also demands a high degree of restraint on the front side within the framework of monument and ensemble protection. In this relatively narrow field in terms of restrictions, it is necessary to fight for the necessary freedom.
In the area of the second property under consideration, the so-called Aujesky House, the overriding protection of historical monuments seems to dominate any action. The possible areas of action are consequently limited to the interior of the building and the courtyard area. Once again, the focus is on the themes of opening up, creating a contemporary usability, and exploring the most diverse possible types of play. Here, the desire for an increased amount of natural light is often involuntarily juxtaposed with the restrictions of historic preservation. The individual projects bear witness to how this dichotomy can turn out.
What the designs for both project sites have in common, however, is the discernible desire for revitalization, above all in the sense of a variety of uses and, as a result, the most heterogeneous possible number of users. This desired revitalization should be able to radiate onto the main square and thus expand the variety of uses in a targeted manner. In this way, the two locations are transformed into offshoots and ramifications of the main square, which are to be conquered, explored and, last but not least, enlivened by the visitors and users.
It remains to be hoped that the diversity of ideas presented will find expression and that the design approaches will contribute their share to making Retz even more diverse than it already is.