Hospitality is first and foremost a social practice and can be situated in any place and become manifest in many ways. Hospitality is a design factor for buildings with rapidly decreasing relevance. Security, commercial value and hygienic measures are becoming the ruling flavours of our time. Many buildings that are designated to perform hospitality such as hospitals, airports, welcome centers, border posts, fair grounds, stadiums, governmental institutions or climate summit halls fail completely in this respect.
We are surrounded by the multiplication of growing fortresses that strive to protect us from the rest of the world and the rest of the world from us. We can only steer against this trend if we make hospitality a spatial practice.
Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius studied architecture in Berlin (TU and diploma at the HdK) and Copenhagen (Art Academy). In 1999 he founded the “Institut für angewandte Baukunst” in Berlin and since then he also works as a freelance performing architect at “raumlaborberlin” on the culture of the city and public space. He plans, draws and realizes installations and interventions in public space, makes scenographies and dramaturgies for stages, squares and exhibitions and develops event and teaching formats. Most recently, he realized the Floating University, whose association he has chaired since 2018. He also has worked for Ruhrtriennale 18-20, Steirischer Herbst 06,08,09,12, Theater der Welt 08, 15, 21, Kampnagel, Kammerspiele, HAU, Sophiensaele, and many more. During the pandemic he realized, among other things, the construction of the Sommerbau for Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt and the Third Space for the Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf.
Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius was professor for architecture at the VSUP Prague and for transdisciplinary design at the Heterotopia Institute of the Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen and at the University Witten/Herdecke and the Royal Academy in The Hague and the Urban School Ruhr. He is the founder of the Floating University Berlin.
raumlaborberlin is a Berlin based network-collective of architects founded in 1999, working at the intersection of architecture, city planning, art and urban intervention. In their work they address city and urban renewal as a process. For their projects, they form tailored teams of interdisciplinary experts. City residents are also specialists. raumlaborberlin is committed to dealing with places 1:1, discovering and using what can be found within the conditions of the site.
In 2021 raumlaborberlin was awarded a Golden Lion at the Architectural Biennale in Venice.