Ice Cream Parlors, Tea Parlours and Shishabars Migrant initiated architectural types and their relation to the City in Germany

Anna Weber, Aachen University

This paper seeks to name and investigate migrant initiated architectural types in Germany and their spatial contribution to the city.

In order to look at a broad surface of contact between different groups in cities I will focus on three gastronomic types, very popular among different social groups, which developed through the spatial activities of immigrant communities and individuals: the ice cream parlor, strongly influenced by Italians from the Zoldo Valley since 1900, the tea parlor, initiated by male labor migrants from Turkey since the 1970s and shisha bars, initiated by a heterogenous group of immigrants mainly from Arab and Persian countries since 2000. Strongly profiting from the heterogenous fields of spatial experiences of their patrons, the spaces offer new spatial prerequisites for different kinds of communality in the city and address groups which lacked a meeting space before, such as women and children in the ice cream parlor of the 1950s or labor migrants from Turkey in the 1970s. The cafés become one of the places where these groups can constitute themselves by becoming spatially manifest in public space. All three types are to be found in what can be called urban areas of cities, contributing to lively plural neighborhoods.

The café’s typological development is closely connected to the emergence of new rules and regulations trying to incorporate the new spatial practices into existing legal frameworks by various administrative institutions as the contemporary case of the shisha bars in Aachen clearly shows. The regulations and their administrative application have a direct impact on the spatial characteristics of the case studies. Especially the tea parlors and shisha bars show a typological vague-ness at the time of their emergence. It is through their reception in society and administrative practices that the type becomes more strongly articulated in a communal design process influenced by diverse architectural references.

The findings can be formulated as design method and applied in intercultural student self-build projects as typological experiments.



About the speaker

Anna Marijke Weber, Dipl.-Ing. Architect, studied architecture at RWTH Aachen University, University of Belgrade and PBSA Düsseldorf with SANAA architects. She worked on various international projects of very different scales before joining the chair for building typologies and Design Basics at RWTH Aachen in 2009. This is where she is heading the project TRANSFER – Architecture by migrants in Germany, which includes research, teaching and student self-build projects. Anna Weber believes the project to address a very broad audience within and beyond science. Dissemination formats include publications, science slams, documentary movies, public exhibitions, participative workshops within self-build projects and presentations in a variety of contexts.



Venue: 0.16/0.17

Date: 11 April 2018

Time: 12:00 - 13:00


UNU-MERIT