The Werthplatz in Eupen is stuck. Stuck between being a car park and a beautiful square, already for ages. It is one of the most well-known places of Eupen and the German-speaking community, for a lot of reasons. It is a multifunctional square, able to host a lot but unable to please a lot. One might say, it is comparable to the modernists’ aim to create multifunctional architecture: take for example the Crown Hall of the IIT in Chicago, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, born not far away from Eupen. To some this building is the highlight of modernism, but also the best example of a building that’s so multifunctional that it can accommodate everything but suits nothing. The fate of neutrality, or the coldly de-romanticizing of life in all its facets?
In order to understand the Werthplatz we worked and lived on it for three months. We were a part of the events, sometimes almost literally, we witnessed the markets, had numerous chit-chats with our neighbours, combed the surroundings and asked a lot of questions: to our neighbours, representatives, passers-by but mostly to ourselves: what is happening over here, why, and how is this compared to other parts of Eupen or the Euregion Meuse-Rhine?
The result of this ‘quest’ is to be found in an atlas. It contains detailed observations, interpretations, comparisons and suggestions. Above all, we think it will become very clear that the Werthplatz is more than “just a car park”, as we often heard. The examples that you will find hereafter illustrate the importance of the place and offer multiple tools for enhancing it, adapting it to life as it happens over here.
Hunting ground: Eupen (B)
Hunting period: 2016
Client: Stadt Eupen