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European Art School

Rethinking the Mediterranean Academy Project

aac Workshop, Hamburg, Germany
5 to 28 September 2018

This workshop was under the guidance of
Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Dipl.-Ing. Meinhard
von Gerkan, President of the aac and
Dipl.-Ing. Architect Nikolaus Goetze

Documentation of results (web-optimised)

Architects and artist developed the idea of a European Mediterranean Academy near Cavalière at the Côte d‘Azur under the auspices of Henricus Theodorus Wijdeveld and Eric Mendelsohn in the 30s. Among others Albert Einstein, Paul Valery, Frank Lloyd Wright and Igor Strawinsky were involved.
Comparable with the Dessau Bauhaus various disciplines from the fields of art and architecture should be taught here as well as music, film and dance. This ambitious project failed for different reasons. However, the concept and the philosophy that were motivating the project are topical until today. Why Europe or a European school? The European idea or rather the questioning of the same has become one of today’s important political topics. Brexit, Grexit and the rise of anti-European positions in international politics apparently contradict the European idea today.

aac would like to celebrate the belief in a common Europe and the connectedness to the mutual tradition with the design for the new interpretation of the “Académie Européenne Méditerranée” dreamt about in the 30s and provide the existing vision with images of current architectural designs. Thus, the aac assignment consisted of the conceptual and architectural analysis of the European idea with reference to the general subjects of meeting, communication, exchange of ideas and teaching.

The “European Art School“ shall not only unite the different nationalities, but also take up the idea of interdisciplinary learning at an art academy, which was already developed in the 1920s and shows and integrates the diversity of the various disciplines so that the subject of unity in diversity may also be taken into account here in particular.

A new art school with a wide range of courses with adjoining student accommodation and apartments for teaching staff was to be designed. Thus, a site was used for the work on the assignment which had already been bought for the academy in the 1930s. It is located in Cavalière, a small town at the Côte d´Azur, about 24km east of Hyères and 20km west of Saint-Tropez. The village stretches from the coast below up into the mountains. The site is located about 1.5km from the sea.

Photos: Jochen Stüber

Participants: Dennis Barg, Victoria Ebert, Guo Jiaxin, Hong Yudong, Sophia Knies, Julia König, Li Yue, Emilia Markowska, Lena Polte, Qian Yu, Philipp Schwab, Shang Yuan, Shen Jie, Sui Jiayin, Nadja Uzelac, Zhang Bohan