Master's Thesis [C3,C1]

>>>Reiseuni Report | Making of [Vol:III.12. Cluster • Master's Thesis – Cultural Transfer]

Class-03 + Class-01 (in chronological order):

Class-03: 24.09.2017
Master's Thesis Presentation at EAD#12 Berlin

MA European Architecture: Cultural Transfer            

Tallinn University of Technology with
Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa &
Partner Universities & Reiseuni_lab

Transformation of the European City

„Changes in contemporary lifestyle and working life are manifested in the transformation and reorganization of the European city at the beginning of the 21st century. Current design problems are to be resolved in a historic cultural setting and in the context of complex, pre-existing structures. Transformation occurs at all scales and across multiple disciplines: measures to increase density, transform function, make additions and insertions, as well as to restructure, to re-use and to re-programme the existing buildings and urban quarters, must be developed with respect to ecological sustainability. Multi-dimensional design and planning processes and participatory communication strategies are integral parts of the democratic planning and building culture.“
[Reiseuni Charter Art. 1, Key Profile of the Master’s Programme;
Fig.01: Anil Sagir, Class-03]

During the half year of the Master’ s thesis, the students of the third cycle 2015 to 2017 independently elaborated and reflected on complex challenges across Europe at Helsinki, Tallinn, Lisbon, Berlin and the Baltic Sea Region. The individually chosen research fields and strategies of designing have been prepared during the workshop sequence of the preceding 3 semesters with focus to the superordinate topic of transformation of the existing. Students have been requested to develop their projects in a theoretical and a practical manner. During the 4-week workshop “Design Reflection 3”, they have been accompanied to prepare the research concepts of the 5 months research period. The public presentation of the results will be attended by professors of the programme and local and international guests.

The key goals of the pilot study programme – research by design about relevant questions and project-work as think tank for local governors – should be synthesized by the final work period of each student. The two-year training of the Master’s of European Architecture is structured around a series of 8 project workshops and 3 design reflective workshops at 6 different higher education institutions: Urban planning as well as architectural and artistic issues – open questions virulent to the cities and regions of the participating universities – have been examined to transform existing buildings and urban quarters.

Since 2010, four classes with international students of Europe, Far- and Middle East, Asia, Middle- and North America have been matriculated first in Germany, from 2015 to 2017 in Estonia, to study at multiple Universities throughout Europe and Israel with the Reiseuni_lab. Since then, the partners worked with the young professionals during 41 workshops in the cities of the institutions in Germany, Portugal, Estonia, Israel, France, Spain, Austria, Poland and Finland to investigate future opportunities of architecture or urban design.

Programme of the day

MT Presentation | Photos
Akademie der Künste / Academy of Arts, Hanseatenweg 10, Berlin


10:00 – 10.30
Prof. W. Wang, Academy of Arts, Berlin, Architecture Section (Deputy Director);
Prof. Irina Raud, Tallinn University of Technology (AAU);
Prof. Ricardo Carvalho, Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, Faculty of Architecture (Head of Department);
Kassem Eida, B.Arch, M.Sc. Architektur, Berlin (Alumni 2012 & Reiseuni_Lab);


10:30 – 10.45
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dagmar Jäger, Tallinn + Berlin, TUT Programme Director of European Architecture


Each student: 25 minutes presentation, 25 minutes discussion

H2 Open. Bringing the Edge closer to Tallinn

Our close ties to water and the waterfront go back to the beginning of time itself. But what makes waterfronts meaningful? And how can Architecture respond to these, often contrasting, contexts? Through the investigation of Tallinn’s waterfront, the thesis’ project aims to intervene with a site-appropriate architectural design, to provide the location with a chance to forge a fresh new identity. The proposal for the harbor area of Pirita is a two-building complex, positioned along a public, circular water-courtyard.

Sea Level Rise. Visioning Future Built Environments.

Climate change unquestionably represents the biggest challenge to the continued presence of humankind -or any other species- on this planet. Hence, the environmental agenda is having an unusual effect on contemporary architecture, practice and education. How can we prepare for this future? Or, rather, how can we mobilize to change such a future for the better?

12.35 - 13:45 Lunch Break

Visual Impaired and Sighted. The Polysensoriality of Educational Spaces (Pfingstkirche Berlin)

The project aims to transform a school-church ensemble in Berlin-Friedrichshain to further develop a small primary school towards inclusive school practice. The interventions produced different locations, adding three new volumes, that encourage, stimulate and suggest to use all senses. Interviews were conducted with blind people and experts to explore what it means to use other senses (and not sight) in everyday life. The new spaces stimulate polisensoriality by employing different materials and cuts to the outside, generating peculiar atmosphere and feelings.

14:45- 15:35
Lisbon Santos_A new centre for the Performing Arts

The work aims to structure a part of the shoreline of Lisbon in continuation of the desire to reconquer the waterfront. Analyzing the territory of Lisbon in different times, scales emphasis the premise: Tagus is a morphological support of the city. The result is a gesture that marks the relation between the city and the river, without creating a barrier and transforming Santos into a new urban centre for the performing arts.

15.35 - 16:15 Coffee Break

Healing the City. Helsinki Urban Exploration to Imagining Spaces for Regeneration

Many places in the peripheral areas of Helsinki are calling for an action. This neglected areas, plots and buildings are waiting for an intervention, a restoration, a demolition or a new construction. After conducting urban explorations, a qualitative research by urban wandering served as a tool to document problematic conditions in the suburbs of the capital. Eastern Pasila, the elected site, is a young heritage settlement forgotten and perceived like a public failure. Here I have proposed a network of punctual interventions – with the aim to optimize and regenerate the chosen area.


17.15 - 18:15
Followed by public announcement of gradings and concluding statements.


Prof. Doutor Ricardo Carvalho, Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dagmar Jäger, Tallinn University of Technology (Chair of committee)
Prof. Irina Raud, Tallinn University of Technology
Prof. Dr. Maria Schneider, University of Innsbruck
Prof. W. Wang, Akademie der Künste, Berlin
Prof. Marusa Zorec, University of Ljubljana


Prof. Pentti Kareoja, Aalto University, Helsinki
Prof. em. Inken Baller, Architect Berlin, Reiseuni_lab
Arch. Chris Burns, Abcarius Burns Architects, Berlin, Reiseuni_lab
Prof. Ignar Fjuk, Tallinn University of Technology (TTÜ AAU)
Arch. Kassem Eida, Berlin, Reiseuni_lab, Alumni of 2012

Class-01: 11.04.-11.09.2012 Master's Thesis at Cottbus

EAD | ASG Master's Thesis Class-01 2012
EAD | ASG Master's Thesis
Works Class-01 2012
In the five-months elaboration of the master thesis, one of the eight workshop topics will be delved in a theoretical and practical manner. More complex research questions, that have become apparent in the workshops, can be further analysed. The students will be supervised by the responsible teaching staff.
To give the students the possibility to work intensively on a specific topic and in one single location in the last phase of their studies, the development of the master‘s thesis will take place in a studio at Cottbus university, where students will work in interdisciplinary teams allowing them to be in close contact with the class and the topics of the different countries. The elaboration requires on-site research.

2012-02-20 Master's-Thesis Programme [C1]

Design Methods Reflection 2 will develop individual programme and tasks for Master's Thesis


Transformation of the European city [Art. 1 Cottbus Charta]

Changes in contemporary lifestyle and working life are manifested in the transformation and reorganization of the European city at the beginning of the 21st century. Current design problems are to be resolved in an historic cultural setting and in the context of complex, pre-existing structures. Transformation occurs at all scales and across multiple disciplines: measures to increase density, transform function, make additions and insertions, as well as to demolish and restructure existing buildings and urban quarters, must be developed with respect to ecological sustainability. Multi-dimensional design and planning processes are integral parts of the democratic planning and architecture culture.

Cultural Transfer. Consequences of Tourism for Architecture & Urban Space in Europe

This Master’s thesis frame represents the first of a new research oriented and postgraduate Study Programme ‚Architektur.Studium.Generale’. From 2010-2011, the students developed 8 projects in 8 different universities and cities. In the five-months elaboration of the master’s thesis, five topics and plots referring to the workshop results, will be delved in a theoretical and practical manner under the ‚roof’ of the superordinated topic „Cultural Transfer: Consequences of Tourism for Architecture & Urban Space in Europe“. The plots in Lisbon, South of Spain, Tallinn, Tel Aviv and Cottbus are chosen for their actual relevance and the transformation options of an important historic heritage. The topics combine the necessity to develop new typologies of cultural identity for the cities within a gentle, cultural tourism future. More complex research questions about case studies and cultural knowledge will accompany the work.
The development of the Master‘s thesis will take place in a studio at Cottbus university, where students will be structured in cluster teams allowing them to work out an individual result within the synergy of the group’s research work and the project results of the different countries. The elaboration requires individual on-site research. The students will be supervised by the teaching staff, BTU V.Prof. Dr. Dagmar Jäger (responsible), Prof. Inken Baller and Prof. Chris Burns together with the local professors of the Partner Universities, Prof. Irina Raud, Prof. Elinoar Barzzacchi, Arch. Ayala Ronel, Prof. Flavio Barbini, Prof. Ricardo Carvalho, Prof. Dr. Mar Loren, Prof. Dr. Maria Schneider and Dr. Izabela Mironowicz. These professors will constitute the jury board during the Master’s thesis presentation and final examination in September 2012.

5 Topics and Plots

1 Lisbon

Plot: Lisbon city. Establecimento Prisional de Lisboa in Parque Eduardo VII. Local Professors: Prof. Ricardo Carvalho and Prof. Flavio Barbini [UAL Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, Departamente de Arquitectura]
Task: Programming the city, urban reorganization and transformation of the existing, built heritage and possible addition to create a hybrid typology of contemporary cultural transmittance of portuguese culture. The project and research work will deepen the work about the new typology, the contemporary architecture identity of the city and the ‚culinary portuguese culture’ during the ASG workshop 3 in Lisbon 2011. The urban design and the project work is to be developped within the frame of the contemporary european and local cultural tourism status quo nowadays, within the history of the Portuguese historic fabric of ‚Pousada typology’, urban landscape and social sustainability.

2 Costa del Sol

Plot: Costa del Sol. The coastal touristic territory as cultural landscape: (a) The coast in one place: Sea-front promenade as a limit: contacting the historic fragments. (b) The coast as a network: The historic continuity of the watch towers system within the fragmented contemporary context
Local Professor: Prof. Dr. Mar Loren with the professors of the workshop 2011 [Universidad de Sevilla, Higher Technical School of Architecture]
Task: Rethink the touristic model based on “Beach and Sun”, a very small fragment of its heritage. Explore interdisciplinary methodologies that overcome this incomplete and stigmatized consideration of this coastal territory on the south of Europe, reducing its seasonal dynamics towards its understanding as a permanent inhabited space. Approach this developed coastal aerea as Cultural Landscape, looking for a multilayered analysis as opposed to former views of the constructed reality as object-based and compartmentalised. The student will work on a research proposal that avoids generalization and will develop a critical analysis based on the specificity and diversity.

3 Tallinn

Plot: Tallinn, Kalarana, Ancient Prison & Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour. Local Professors: Prof. Irina Raud with Prof. Rein Murula [Tallinn University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering]
Task: City programming, urban reorganization of the Tallinn harbour district around the plot of the ancient prison ensemble, which is out of function nowadays and needs to be pushed towards a new destination.
Coherent urban concepts and project transformation of the historical prison heritage, which is under protection, are to be developed with regard to the missing infrastructure link to the historical city center, and towards spatial and contemporary concepts for the future amelioration of the coastal urban landscape of Tallinn City („Culture Kilometre“), with particular regard to the difficulties concerning borders and limits of the tallinn harbour district and the heterogeneous architecture experiences of the site in the 20th century. The new and transformed prison should be able to integrate contemporary spacial functions and necessities next to the identity of Tallinn as a city of World Heritage and consider the heterogeneous urban potentials after 1991.

4 Cottbus

Plot: Ancient Central Prison, Cottbus, Bautzenerstraße. Local Professors: V.Prof. Dr. Dagmar Jäger with Prof. Inken Baller [Brandenburg University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Urban Planning]
Task: Transformation of the former central prison in Cottbus, Bautzenerstraße. Young historic political heritage of the 19th to the 20th century, out of function short after the end of the former GDR / East Germany. The design research has to reflect the critical european discussion about authenticity and musealization of political heritage with respect to the experienced models for open-minded, multilayered ‚vivid museums’ for transmittance of history nowadays.
The design research should clear the specific contextual situation in Cottbus within the wide- range german landscape of „Gedenkstätten“ / com-memorials of the 3rd Reich and the DDR, in comparison to european case studies. The architecture project has to deal the traces of the architecture, political and social history being inscribed into the place, being interpreted towards spatial concepts for the future commemorative, political and educational international work. The research deepens the results of ASG workshop 1 in 2010 and 2011 in Cottbus.

5 Tel Aviv

Plot: Manshiyeh and the connection between Jaffa and Tel Aviv. Local Professors: Prof. Elinoar Barzacchi, Arch. Ayala Ronel [Tel Aviv University, David Azrieli School of Architecture]
Task: Planning the area of Manshiyeh and the connection between Jaffa and Tel Aviv, while dealing with the changes, these two halves of the city are going through due to the changing social, political and economical situation.
The planning process should tackle issues such as the historical and political significance of the place, the growing demand for affordable housing in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, and the influence becoming a hub for the younger generation and tourists has had on Tel Aviv. The boundaries of the area to be planned may be enlarged to include nearby areas, taking into account the local population and examining the implications of the planning process on them (inclusion of residents in the process, gentrification, mediating planning).

Master’s Thesis’ research Topics

EAD Berlin 2012 at Akademie der Künste Berlin

Cultural Transfer. Consequences of Tourism for Architecture & Urban Space in Europe

I. From mass tourism after the world wars to new approaches at the beginning of the 21st century
II. Transformation of political heritage, typology of com-memorials
III. Investigation of contemporary models of cultural transfer in architecture and concerned
disciplines like sociology or tourism IV. The touristic territory as cultural landscape. Contemporary coastal strategies
V. Urban social and affordable housing and the discussion about gentrification as a phenomena within it’s historical dimension

Master's thesis Symposium _ 5 Research Cluster present 19 Results:

>>>>EAD#4-Berlin 2012 at AdK – Programme


Master’ Thesis [MT] & Reflexion 2 [R2] & ASG Meetings
>>>Calendar Class-01 (closed)