© 2013 LARISSA AHARONI

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Proposal for the redevelopment of the Gustaf Gründgens Platz / Düsseldorf / Germany

In the heart of Düsseldorf, buried beneath the shadows of some of the city's landmarks of modern architecture,
lies an unassuming square / plaza called "Gustaf Gründgends Platz"

Surrounding the square are two architecturally impressive buildings, renowned across Germany: the Theater of
Düsseldorf (architect Bernhard Pfau, built from 1965 to 1970) and the former headquarters of the ThyssenKrupp
Company – "Dreischeibenhaus" (architect: Hentrich & Petschnigg, built from 1957 to 1960).

Both of these structures have a significant visual impact on the square despite the fact that the surface of the
square is in a deteriorated condition. Due to the overbearing fall wind created by the presence of these buildings,
pedestrians are left to treating the plaza merely as a passageway on their daily commute further contributing to
the area's sense of desolation.

I always felt that the "Gustaf Gründgends Platz" and its buildings had extraordinary potential, and that such a
place located directly in the heart of the city, deserved better. And, in 2004, of my own initiative, I created an
artistic proposal outlining the redevelopment of the square which involved installing a new surface floor.

The new street-level surface would be inspired by the materials that make up the two main buildings of the
square: steel and aluminum. For the redevelopment of the "Gustaf Gründgens Platz" floor I plan to use
150 cm x 150 cm steel plates.

Steel as a material will be used intentionally to allow an interaction between the newly designed surface and
the existing architecture. By liberating the space from all superfluous elements a commitment to the square
and its architecture is emphasized. The physicality of the existing buildings is set against the two-dimensionality
of the square's pavement. Reflections of light and the mirroring effect of the steel plates stress the presence of the
material and create new visual experiences.

By way of contrast the new steel floor surface will help to redefine the borders of the square. And, although my
plan calls for implementing “borders” the new definition of space will actually serve to create a sense of expansion.

Generosity will be noticed by entering this new public space.