Former border checkpoint at Freilassing

Design studio/Professor Valerio Olgiati

Keywords: the nations that meet / freedom of movement in europe / the place of memory

Ever since the Congress of Vienna, which after its reorganization of Europe in 1815 handed over Rupertiwinkel and the western parts of the former prince-bishopric to Bavaria, Salzburg has been a border city. When Austria joined the European Union and the Schengen Area this border seemed just a historical reminder. However, since the so-called refugee crisis in 2015, we have experienced how quickly national boundaries can reemerge: today, border police is again patrolling here and checking identification. A unified Europe that has overcome nationalism and xenophobia seems a long way away. What does this mean for a city like Salzburg, which is located in the heart of Europe and hosts one of the world’s most important cultural festivals? Can this situation simply be ignored, or should the city rather be an example of humanity and demonstrate how nationalism can be put back in its place?

The students in Valerio Oligati’s class, taking up Salzburg’s identity as a cultural city, dedicated all projects to spaces for the performance of music. The idea was to offer various musical spaces that do justice to all the demands of a music city like Salzburg. The designs include a hall for soloists, a choral hall, and a space for musical theater, and thus reflect not just a broad musical spectrum, but also illustrate the various dimensions and spatial characteristics of these locations.

Photos: Günter Richard Wett