Nächstes Projekt 01/20  

November / Dezember 2023

RWTH Aachen

Aachen Bushof - Magnetisch

Geschichte und Zukunft eines Gebäudes, "wie es in der Bundesrepublik einmalig sein dürfte."

von Philipp Goertz


RWTH Aachen






Chair of Building Typologies and Design Basics Prof. Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Prof. Yasemin Utku and Dr. Adria Daraban




Archicad, Rhino, Adobe Suite

"A building that is probably unique in the Federal Republic." Opening with a flower-decorated bus, a roof with an ice-skating rink, bowling alleys, a youth and childcare centre, shops, and a car showroom - the car park cleverly moved underground and an efficient handling of bus operations. The talk is of Aachen’s central bus terminal. Today, anyone looking for the ice rink on top of the bus station will not find it. It was never built. Instead, four sales pavilions were erected on its roof, only to be removed shortly after. Removed like any positive notion of Aachen Bushof. A building that, despite being the crossing of 3000 buses and 70,000 people daily, is mainly referred to as a brutal concrete box. Seen as a place of crime by citizens and local newspapers, pragmatic politicians periodically advocate its demolition.
What happened to turn the 1970’s promise of a vibrant typology in the city centre into an "eyesore" with a 3.0-star rating on Google? How could the often-propagated-and-yet-not-executed demolition be understood as potential?
A careful look into 50 years of Bushof’s history and contexts is coupled with two principles to questions its negative narratives:
1. Understanding possible futures through time (one day, one year, one decade, one century).
2. The immediate coupling of planning and execution.
On a one-day horizon, I moved my workplace from the architecture faculty to the bus hall. From this short-term alteration of use multiple futures for the bus terminal gain traction – some are specified in the thesis; others are left open.
Beyond the unfolding of history and possible futures of Aachen Bushof, the research and its materials are collected in the BUSHOF BOX. A carriable cabinet and an invitation to finally synthesize the 50-year-old promise: “a building that is probably unique in the Federal Republic.”
Text von Philipp Goertz.