Stadtarbeit – City Work
ARCHE – A VIEWING PLATFORM IN THE WILDERNESS OF THE VACANT PLOT
The Arche was one of two projects that occupied a piece of waste ground as part of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK 2020. The concept was to make such plots accessible and transform them into temporary urban gardens. However, according to the initiators of the project from das BAU, it is not enough to simply open up the fence around a construction site, and thus they invited a series of communal activities onto the plot. For example, the insect life on the plot was researched and recorded together with a pollination biologist from the University of Vienna. On this particular sunny autumn Sunday afternoon this not only delighted the children but also motivated young and old alike to fight their way through the wilderness and discover the astonishing diversity of life on the allegedly useless piece of land. In addition to this, a herbarium was created and the visitors, together with a specially invited gardener, were able to dig, water, and harvest the ruderal vegetation (the name given to the flora that develops – without human input – on unused or abandoned plots). The symbol and centerpiece of the project was a temporary viewing platform in the wasteland that invited passersby from afar to slow down and cast their eyes over the otherwise often ignored green spaces of the urban jungle.
As part of VIENNA DESIGN WEEK, the ARCHE was awarded the Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Design Award 2020.