After many years of uncertainty surrounding its use and even its survival, Villa Berg is once again the subject of discussion at HFT Stuttgart. The Faculty of Architecture and Design is working on a variety of potential usage and design concepts which could breathe new life into Villa Berg. The former country palace was used by the SWR media organization for a time, but has now stood empty for many years and is in a poor state of repair.
The project required third semester students on the IMIAD
programme to design a lighting concept for the Belvedere pavilion
in the grounds of the villa and develop temporary usage concepts
for Villa Berg itself. Working in groups in a workshop-like
atmosphere, the students drew up three different usage concepts
dealing with three main topics – retail, residential space and
The “Villa Vintage” concept foresees the conversion of Villa Berg to a department store for bric-a-brac. Unlike a flea market, goods are not sold by individual sellers with their own stands, but instead classified and allocated to specific rooms within the building. One special feature of this concept is the use of the villa’s former sanitary facilities as so-called “forbidden rooms” housing tenants such as a piercing and tattoo parlour, a hairdresser’s, an eight-till-late convenience store and “7 Minutes in Heaven”. The rooms play with the forbidden thrill of trespassing in the villa. Information on their opening hours and secret parties at the villa is only available via an online community. The concept requires the reconnection of the building to the electricity grid, with brightly coloured cable ties used to attach the different coloured power cables to a newly created suspended wire mesh ceiling. This represents a convenient and flexible way for traders to install and route cables as required. The use of simple, cost-efficient, reusable materials reflects the browsers’ desire to strike a bargain.
Villa Vintage: A project by Johanna Pander and Sarah Ostrowski
The fundamental idea behind the “Villa Occupied” residential concept is to fill the entire building with new functions. In the manner of a squat, the audience studio houses a large, communal bedroom characterized by the use of materials generally found on a construction site. The result is a blend of both sleeping areas and lounge areas. Whereas other squats tend to take shape quietly and in secret, the occupation of Villa Berg is designed to attract as much attention as possible. The public rooms arranged along the building’s façade not only perform a variety of new functions, but are also differentiated from one another using a colour code. This applies to spatial elements (e.g. partitions) as well as all free-standing and fitted furniture in each room. To give an example, the former lobby has been transformed into a velvety-red café. By way of contrast, the elements that make up the beer bar facing onto the western terrace appear to have been immersed in green. The fact that these colour-coded rooms open onto large apertures in the building’s façade makes their use clearly visible from the outside. The concept is intended to contrast with the building in its current state, using exaggerated colours and forms to turn the villa into a new hotspot for Stuttgart.
Villa Occupied: A project by Daniela Lemak, Lisa-Marie Pittner and Nathalie Vogt
The design concept developed by the “Cul-Tour” group not only facilitates the use of the existing building in an completely flexible way without the need for major interference in its architecture, but also turns it into a cultural space which can be used by anyone from the Stuttgart region. A variety of events such as concerts, film evenings, theatre, fashion shows, exhibitions and themed parties are to take place between April and September, with the building also to be used for seminars and leisure activities during the week.
Given the villa’s poor state of repair, the project team elected to only hold events in two rooms – the audience studio and the foyer that opens onto it. The concept centres on the use of a single, defining material: Old folding benches and tables thrown out after the Cannstatter Wasen festival. Ideally suited to use as a temporary material, the benches and tables dominate the room, creating a huge sculpture in the form of a bar and seating landscape which combines all necessary functions and the various sections of the villa with one another. The benches and tables are connected and stabilized using a variety of techniques including slot-in systems, stacking and screwing.
Cul-Tour: A project by Aline Moosmann, Caroline Schatz and Meral Yurdakul
Students in the fourth semester of the bachelor programme in Interior Design also examined Villa Berg in detail this semester. An exhibition concept for all work dealing with Villa Berg drawn up by students from the Faculty of Architecture and Design has been developed and is due to be realized this summer. The exhibition will include the plans, models and material samples produced by IMIAD students during the development of the three temporary usage concepts described above.