This page contains automatically translated content.

01/04/2024 | Campus-Meldung

Anniversary exhibition: The Henschelei and the Hopla campus

Today, the Holländischer Platz campus is a central part of Kassel and enriches the city as a lively place for study and research. An exhibition in the Faculty of Architecture - Urban Planning - Landscape Planning at the University of Kassel now presents the development from the former Henschel site to the "Hopla" campus. The focus is on the discussions surrounding the preservation of the historic factory buildings in the 1970s.

Image: University of Kassel.
Historic hall of the Henschelei.

In the early years of the university as the Gesamthochschule Kassel (GhK), it was possible to prevent the construction of a new campus outside the city and to push through the current location of the former Henschel factories. The exhibition shows plans and initiatives by professors and students for the conversion of the historic existing buildings, which failed for political reasons. The exhibition is curated by Alexander Stumm, research assistant in the Department of Architectural Theory and Design, and students from the ASL Faculty.

"In the exhibition, we are exploring the historically charged location of the campus grounds of the University of Kassel. We show the history of the Henschel works, whose enormous importance as an armaments factory was the cause of the destruction of Kassel by Allied bombing raids in the Second World War, and the various projects by professors and students of the Gesamthochschule Kassel, who campaigned for the conversion and extensive preservation of the buildings in the 1970s," explains Alexander Stumm.

"For visitors, we make the industrial area and the discourse surrounding the building structures demolished in the course of the new campus planning in 1979 tangible - using visual material, student projects and designs. We also show posters intended to sensitize the citizens of Kassel to the topic, as well as newly produced video interviews with contemporary witnesses. We are placing a special focus on the historical buildings that have been preserved in fragments to this day, which we are including in the exhibition," says Stumm, giving an insight into the concept.

"Demolition or preservation. The Henschelei and the Gesamthochschule Kassel" is one of ten anniversary exhibitions in the series "The Kassel Model 1973-2023. 50 Years of Architecture - Urban Planning - Landscape Planning at the University of Kassel" to mark the Faculty's anniversary. The exhibitions and the accompanying program highlight innovations and pressing issues in architecture, urban planning and landscape planning. A look back at the history of research and teaching is combined with current concepts of urban activism, the redesign of public spaces, the moratorium on demolition, sustainable building and digitalization. Then as now, critical and technically sound concepts are needed to address the challenges facing society. The Kassel Model stands for this self-image.

The exhibitions are organized and curated by various departments in collaboration with students. The exhibition series will continue until the summer semester 2024.

The Faculty of Architecture - Urban Planning - Landscape Planning invites you to the exhibition opening on Wednesday, January 10, 2024, 7 p.m. (ASL-Neubau, Foyer and Room 106, Universitätsplatz 9)

On the topic of "Kassel: Demolition or Preservation?", curator Alexander Stumm will discuss with Conny Weckmann, Georgios Varelis and Prof. Dr. Florian Mähl buildings threatened by demolition and privatization, such as the Nachrichtenmeisterei and the former police headquarters in Kassel as well as the Juridicum in Frankfurt.

Criticism of current demolition practices is growing louder against the backdrop of the current climate, biodiversity and energy crises. In Kassel, however, there is a long tradition of campaigning for the preservation of historical buildings - specifically in the history of the University of Kassel. In the discussion at the opening of the exhibition, city actors will present various buildings currently threatened with demolition in Kassel and aim to stimulate a discussion about ecological, social and cultural perspectives in times of climate emergency.


Anniversary exhibition

Demolition or preservation. The Henschelei and the Gesamthochschule Kassel

Wed. January 10 - Thu. January 25, 2024

Monday - Thursday 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Foyer of the ASL new building
Universitätsplatz 9
34127 Kassel

Admission is free of charge.

Further information on the exhibitions and other anniversary activities: