Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Fig. 6.5. Collage 'postcard' from empiri-
cal basis; generated overview. Copyright
Sergej Stoetzer.
the inner city next to a former railway station that
was relocated to its present location in 1912. The
roof was damaged during the Second World War
and two storeys were added afterwards, with
very little architectural sensitivity - so the student
commented: the building is protected as an
architectural monument, but the reconstruction
of at least the façade could have been made
better to be fair to the building's architectural
and aesthetic roots.
The houses and courtyards at the Magdale-
nenstraße were chosen for their old fabric being
still intact. The old half-timbered houses created
a specifi c fl air that could be (at least partly)
The residential castle with the university
constitutes the second main biographical refer-
ence: the place of study. Similarly to the motive
before, the castle's courtyard is also shown, as
well as references to the underlying theme of simi-
larity/change and references to destruction caused
by war (and buildings in the post-war period):
close to the university, a single house was discov-
ered that still shows signs of another building that
must have been next to it, but was destroyed by
the bombing of the city in September 1944.
In engaging with pictures of pre-war
Darmstadt, the city's history showed great
potential, explaining what was perceived as
'architectural sins', leading to a more forgiving
judgement of the city's present appearance: the
formerly nice-looking city with a lot of Jugend-
stil buildings was nearly completely destroyed
on 11-12 September 1944, making rapid
rebuilding after the war necessary. The build-
ings of the post-war period were perceived as
sterile, but knowing the city's history lead to a
reinterpretation of Darmstadt's outer appear-
ance, victimizing the city of historic circum-
stances beyond its infl uence, in times of global
confl ict. Identity as belonging to certain groups
and places is inscribed this way by institutional-
izing the process of production of space, specifi c
to places.
Summary and Future Prospects
Inscribing meaning to certain places by repeated
action becomes visible - either directly in
materiality (rearrangement or new forms of dis-
tribution of persons or objects to change the
meaning associated with places, modifi cations
of material artefacts themselves) or by address-
ing social and personal networks: traces of per-
sons 'belonging' here inscribed in a (more or
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