0072 Nuremberg Nazi Party Rally Area:
Reconciling the irreconcilable

MSP Meier-Scupin & Petzet
Muck Petzet, Christoph Mayr

Any attempt to find architectural solutions for the insoluble must fail. So for the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, we propose raising awareness of the two overlapping layers of the site through communication.

Dealing with the architectural evidence of Nazi rule is marked by irreconcilable opposites: the dark history of these monuments must be preserved without their restoration turning them into dedication or memorial sites of a renewed nationalism. The elaborate architectural design of the neoclassical buildings archaic grandeur of the massive urban sites designed for mass meetings impress even as they lay in ruins and pose a difficult, almost impossible, task for restoration. The Party Rally Grounds cannot be transformed simply through architectural means. Only a holistic, deliberate yet relaxed, handling of the site can answer to the socio-political challenge of the hubris that was constructed, lived and believed only 60 years ago.

The Dutzendteich Park forms the basis of such a socially responsible handling of the site. With its partially unstructured open spaces, it accommodates a variety of uses that arose spontaneously. The original site has been overgrown, so to speak, by ′profane′ uses but still remains recognisable. The remaining structural parts of the site escaped demolition precisely because of the improvised uses. We advocate the preservation of the existing uses or the addition to similar uses that do not require any structural change. This applies to almost all parts of the site: the large street as a parking lot and play area, the Zeppelin Field as a sports and event site, the German Stadium as an artificial park landscape, the SS barracks as the Federal Office for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees, the March Field as a residential settlement.

The strategies applied could be characterized as follows: layers of history, appropriation, preservation and discussion. In everyday use the historical material has been appropriated, partially destroyed or overgrown, but mostly preserved. In the handling of the site, the relationship between the everyday and its history is ultimately decisive for the concept of the future for this historical site. The proposed interventions are therefore aimed both at strengthening the structures of the recreational and open space while at the same time stopping the destruction of endangered building stock. The Nazi Party Grounds as a memorial site is not formed by additional architecture or landscape interventions, but through visibility and the enablement of a social and educational process. Hence the grounds are provided with information points and ‚Park Rangers’ as ‘informediaries’.


Muck Petzet Architekten

Architekt BDA Dipl.-Ing. Muck Petzet
Landwehrstrasse 37
D - 80336 Munich
E-mail: sekretariat(at)muck-petzet.com

The architect Muck Petzet is member of
the Bayerische Architektenkammer
(Bavarian Architects Association),
Waisenhausstraße 4, 80637 Munich,
membership no. 172838.

The authorisation to use the professional
title "architect" arises from the inclusion
in the architects′ list of the Bavarian Architects
Association. The architect Dipl.-Ing
Muck Petzet is subject to the legislation
and professional regulation of the Bavarian
Architects′ Law (BayArchG). The text of
the BayArchG can be read on the homepage
of the Bavarian Architects Association

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