THE CASE OF WESSERLING: workshop for young architects

novembre 30, 2023

A fortuitous encounter led me to figure out the next CatenArt residency after 2 years of inactivity due to the recent pandemy.


It so happens that a dear neighbour of mine in our place in Madrid, a French architect, Françoise Schneider, finds her origin in Alsace and more precisely in Wesserling, 35 km drive from Mulhouse. She then told me about the magnificent industrial wasteland of Wesserling that goes back to the 17th century.


A short visit early January allowed me to think about the possibility of organizing a residency for young architects around the subject: destroying versus restoring an old industrial site.

Thanks to the enthusiastic and committed participation of Françoise to the project, we could organize the residency which took place from the 18th to 22nd of September in the Wesserling center.


Finally 18 participants of which 8 young architects assisted to the residency. They came from Germany, Spain, France, Peru, Romania and Ukraine. The masterclass took place during 2 days and 2 more days were also devoted to a workshop and prepare the renovation of a specific building in the center.

The masterclass were given by Mr Laurent Thomassin and Pr. Pierre Fluck (university of Mulhouse). The worskshop was conducted by Pr. Isabel Sardon (Madrid Polytechnic).

Mr François Tacquard, president for the Wesserling Center led the participants in a site tour.


A final conclusion of this residency was to consider always the importance of “destroy less and construct little” since renovation and rehabilitation make sense from an historic and economic point of view.

The residency was a success since participants could learn from their stay and made contacts valuable.