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B-LAB: This place is pretty good” – 9 architectural approaches to Brăila
August 10, 2015

This place is pretty good – 9 architectural approaches to Brăila

Monday, August 3rd, 2015, 19:00

Danube Waterfront, Brăila, România (inbetween the city hall and Împăratul Traian St.)

The Bergen School of Architecture together with “Ion Mincu” University or Architecture and Urbanism – Faculty of Urban Planning and with support from the Brăila Municipality, have the pleasure to invite you Monday, August 3, to the exhibition: “This place is pretty good. 9 architectural approaches to Brăila”.

Using the city of Braila in Romania (a post-industrial, post-communist city with economic and population decline) as the field of operation, an international group of students and teachers has been exploring forms of operational capital that go beyond economy to develop architectural approaches. As such we have been working both in the studio in Bergen and on the field in the city to explore and ignite latent potentials derived from the particularities of the context - latent potentials such as the creative potential of users, the undervalued Communist era heritage, new forms of micro-urbanisms, an abundance of space and building stock formed as a result of economic and demographic contractions, etc.

As part of our field work, we have sought ways to test and calibrate the architectural approaches through direct actions, such as built interventions, participatory processes, interviews or presentations - a dialectical process where performance forms a way of thinking and doing architecture and is a central part of the process of "how to" maximize the affect with limited means.

Composed of two parts, the exhibition presents the results of the master course “Brăila Laboratory. In search of architectural approaches within a shrinking city” and the follow-up summer workshop (22.07-05.08) led by the Bergen Arkitekthøgskole. Conceived in an open format, the event represents the launch of the project “BRAILA LABORATORY - Alternative approaches to urban peripheries within a shrinking city (B-LAB)”.

extra info This place is pretty good.pdf


Bergen Arkitekthøgskole (BAS) was established as an educational alternative to the public architecture schools of Norway in 1986. Since then, the program has developed a tradition of social oriented architecture that engages with reality through an experimental, hands-on and collaborative approach to spatial production. This approach is often influenced by complimentary areas of study such as art, anthropology and ecology. Multiple courses, workshops and events held over the years in Norway and countries across the globe have served to ground an open and active relationship between the education and practice of architecture as they relate to a contemporary local and simultaneously global society.

Universitatea de Arhitectură și Urbanism „Ion Mincu” (UAUIM) is the oldest and most important academic institution within the architectural discipline in Romania. It continues a long tradition in architectural higher education, with its inception, in the second half of the twentieth century, strongly linked to the modern development of Romania and its new cultural structures. For 16 years the Department of Urban Planning UAUIM undertakes a permanent contact with Romanian urban reality through direct involvement in both urban life and in international academic cooperation.

BRAILA LABORATORY - Alternative approaches to urban peripheries within a shrinking city (B-LAB)” takes a interdisciplinary approach to a critical issue facing today’s European cities derived from an understanding of the local context – Braila, a city which, despite processes indicating economic and demographic decline, maintains a latent urban capital worthy of exploration. More information about the project coming soon at www.urbanmarkers.ro

Project financed through a grant from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and the Government of Romania.

Illustration by Laura Cristea and Cristina Popescu
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