Location — Basel
Country — Switzerland

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In the industrial production of building materials, economic efficiency and productivity dictate to what degree materials and human power are used, exploited, or neglected. This strictly economic logic produces vast amounts of waste and results in a loss of valuable knowledge and know-how. The cycle of continuous renewal is not only harmful to the environment, but it also deprives individuals of their power over the objects and materials they interact with on a daily basis.

“[...] the technical object must be saved. It must be saved from its present miserable and unjust status. [...] It is, therefore, necessary to modify the conditions in which it is found, in which it is produced, and in which, above all, it is used, because it is used in a degrading way” (Gilbert Simondon, interview with Anita Kechickian, 1983). It goes without saying that we consider building materials to be technical objects of the highest order.

We believe that the reuse and repurposing of construction materials will enable emancipation from the industrial cycle. Through associated forms of knowledge and craftsmanship, new sustainable social and pedagogical approaches can be explored as part of the building process.
In order to be guided from one path to another, repositioned, and reworked; these materials seem to need a module specifically devoted to their transformation: a transducer. Throughout this process, they establish a special relationship with their carers and provide them with skills and knowledge in return.

The pavilion is built over railway tracks. In the beginning, it primarily consists of storage spaces and a series of machines that help transform the in situ reused components into manufactured building elements. It generates the conditions for its own construction. Once structurally complete, the machines and tools remain for the transformation of other materials and the realization of events and workshops throughout the summer. Through its integration into a site formerly devoted to production and transportation, our project builds on this productive spirit and symbolically celebrates what has shaped its direct environment within a new system of values. To this tangible process are added all the advantages of social reactivation, ecological awareness, and a restoration of the human being into the site.