May 28, 2016 - Nov 27, 2016


Grand Duchy of Luxembourg - Biennale Architettura 2016


Tracing Transitions
Habitation, the shortage of living space, and the creation of socially sustainable housing are the critical issues of our times - the fronts where a battle is worthwhile. The exhibition “Tracing Transitions” documents the current situation in Luxembourg through a spatial installation. It serves as a kind of screen in order to present subjects concerning the creation of housing, the geographical ramifications of problems, and possible approaches to solutions. We will show new concepts, upcoming ideas, and projects which promote a change in this important debate. Layers of information are used to illustrate the current reality and to discuss the possibilities of influencing this reality in a favourable manner. Its geographical location and economic development, the competitive housing and high-priced property market, population growth and demographic change make Luxembourg a complex and adversarial area of tension. The situation is characterized through unsustainable building developments, unused property resources, and dormitory suburbs located in the countries bordering Luxembourg, such as France, Belgium and Germany, that generate a massive volume of traffic by commuting residents. “Tracing Transitions” tracks these phenomena in the sense of a modern urban “archaeology” in order to generate a spatial assemblage. This way, the visitors of the exhibition are able to get in touch with the problem areas while the presentation of progressive approaches to the housing debate offers the possibility of a better future.
Tracing Transitions addresses current housing problems in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as well as aspects for a possible transformation of the situation in the future. Habitation, provision of residential property, and socially sustainable housing are essential issues of our time. Shelter is a fundamental human need and an internationally confirmed human right. In Luxembourg, the preconditions for satisfying this need have become more and more unstable.   As a small nation in the heart of Western Europe, Luxembourg is truly a land of specifics. Being a sovereign state, Luxembourg’s location and policies have simultaneously generated a continuous yet porous border region with its neighbours Belgium, France and Germany. Luxembourg’s niche strategies have enabled her to achieve international significance in a globalised world and considerable economic success bearing no relation to the size of the country. But Luxembourg’s wealth, attractive job opportunities, and socio-economic policies also put pressure on the housing market. The mechanisms for the provision of housing are dominated by ownership and free market economy. These models are increasingly unable to satisfy the need of significant parts of the population for affordable and adequate housing. Many people turn in reaction to neighbouring regions in search of housing, constituting the phenomenon of the Grenzgänger – frontier commuters and highly mobile labourers. This situation entails a range of problems like the danger of real estate bubbles in these regions, unbalanced programming in urban areas, and excessive environmental pollution through traffic.  
Its geography and economic development, the competitive and high-priced property market, population growth and demographic change have turned Luxembourg into a complex and adversarial area of tension. Tracing Transitions looks at interventions that aim to gradually diffuse the current situation. These interventions present alternatives: they are options for the realisation of housing solutions that stand in contrast to ownership or built-to-rent models; they offer different living configurations as answers to demographic changes; they question traditional and known housing types; and they make use of Luxembourg’s biggest resource for the implementation of housing – vast former industrial areas, remnants of Luxembourg’s past as an iron and coal nation.   Tracing Transitions seeks indicators that signify a possible change in the production and social sustainability of housing. It is primarily a story about processes, events, and the consolidation of networks and not about full blown design solutions and neat buildings. Architecture becomes instead part of activism. And Tracing Transitions is part of architectural communication – to communicate the challenges in the production of conditions for realising the ‘good project’.
Welcome to Luxembourg
The shortage of affordable and adequate housing causes a large part of Luxembourg’s working population to live across the border. The phenomenon of the Grenzgänger – cross-border commuters and mobile labourers – adds to the specifics of Luxembourg and the Greater Region, as a large part of the working population travels. 
The Network Equation
The necessity for extensive commuting generates unbalanced programmed urban areas. Networks of dormitory suburbs emerge on one side of the border and office districts, deserted at night and on the weekends, on the other. (Room 2)
Front Yard Paradise
A large part of housing in Luxembourg consists of mono-typological structures like single-family homes and small-scale terraced houses. For many people, such housing may represent something similar to the ideal solution. “‘Auf Mont’ in Wincheringen is a new housing estate [in Germany] next to the border [to Luxembourg]. Most people here build ecological and sustainable houses. There are far fewer building restrictions than in Luxembourg, and we had the freedom to realise our eco-friendly, self-design in keeping with our own ideas." “Our dream was to live in a suburban idyll as we knew it from films or TV soaps but we never thought this ideal conception would ever come true…." (interview with Danny & Nathalie, residents of ‘Auf Mont’)
Post-Industrial Wastelands
Luxembourg’s transition into a post-industrial society led to the creation of fabulous wastelands of former industrial areas. Today, they represent the biggest property resource for the construction of new housing. For about 100 years, the steel industry occupied a large site in the town of Dudelange separating some of its urban quarters. The planning of a new neighbourhood at this place – the ‘Neischmelz’ – is already underway in order to backfill the town’s fabric. In the meantime, a number of initiatives and artistic projects drive the revitalisation of the industrial brownfield prior to the implementation of big planning. The recent construction of accommodations for refugees reflects the ability to mobilise resources and to create conditions for the realisation of projects through civic engagement and the will of political actors. “With the first wave of refugees in 2012 emerged the idea of preparing a dignified welcome for migrants in our commune. The brownfield of Dudelange presented enough space and the required scope for a temporary housing structure for 93 persons seeking international protection…"  (Dan Biancalana, mayor of Dudelange)
Step by Step Utopia
A tale of processes, events and consolidated structures, which are able to drive modification of the current system. Defined utopias are gradually formed by potential solutions.
This assemblage composed of 3D scans of particular situations in Luxembourg and the Greater Region constitutes the “canvas” or the projection screen. The assemblage is a continuous installation that connects the different rooms of the Ca’ del Duca.
Luxembourg Pavilion in Venice 
Ca’ del Duca, Corte del Duca Sforza -San Marco 3052I-30124 Venezia (opening hours: 11:00 to 19:00, closed on Tuesdays).
Credits: Story

Tracing Transitions

Curators and exhibitors
Claude Ballini, architect
Serge Ecker, artist, creative director
Daniel Grünkranz, architect, theoretician
Panajota Panotopoulou, architect, theoretician

LUCA Luxembourg Center for Architecture

With the financial support of
Ministère de la Culture, Luxembourg

With the additional support of
OEuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte

With the additional support of
Ordre des Architectes et Ingénieurs-Conseils, Banque de Luxembourg, Prefalux, CDCL, Burotrend, Ikogest, Annen, AP Kieffer Omnitec, Karp-Kneip, Paul Wurth, Socom, Schüco, SB Inbau, Enovos, Soludec, Lalux, Solarwood, Minusines, Ost

General coordination and public relations
LUCA Luxembourg Center for Architecture:
Andrea Rumpf, director
Iyoshi Kreutz, administrative assistant
Thomas Miller, program assistant

Coordination in Venice
Caterina De Cesero
Elena Durigon
Sara Bonaventura

Experts committee
Caterina de Cesero – Tatiana Fabeck – Philippe Nathan – Andrea Rumpf – Nico Steinmetz – Romain Zattarin

Université du Luxembourg: Prof. Markus Hesse, Prof. Christian Schulz, Nathalie Christmann – Politecnico di Milano: Prof. Massimo Bricocoli – Christian Bauer Architectes – A+T Architecture – Atelier D – Adhoc

Dan Biancalana (Ville de Dudelange) – Marco Hoffmann (Caritas) – Eric Weirich (Ad Hoc) – Julien Licheron Observatoire de l’Habitat – Vincent Delwiche + Robert Kocian (Agora) – Marianne Brausch (Fonds d’urbanisation et d’aménagement du Plateau de Kirchberg) – Nathalie Flander & Danny Koppers

Graphic design
Vidale Gloesener

Chez soi – Definizioni – Euroline – Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften, Trier (D) – Fab Lab Luxembourg – Imprimerie REKA – Lorang Transports – Mad about – Prefalux


Thanks to
Prof. Robert Thum – Jimmy Brunner – Raphael Thomas – Priscila Neves Mendes – Nike Mangen – Kirsten Verstraeten – Cindy Mazzarini – Paulette Ballini – Nicole Mazzarini – Andrei Pertsch – Igor Götz – Marlène Kreins

Special thanks to Family Le Gallais, Venice

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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