2023 CAT A Hambach 2.0
Hambach lignite mine has long symbolized sacrifice for progress and simultaneously the fight against fossil fuels. A new chapter unfolds for this region: according to the mining company’s plans, Hambach will become a huge artificial lake using the waters of the Rhine River, possibly fostering a further ecological disaster. The filling of this huge crater will at least half a century.
The thesis questions the evolution of this giant artificial valley over the decades during flooding, and the feasibility of the flooding itself. The goal is the enhancement of the post-mining landscape as an exceptional habitat that, once mining activities cease, constitutes a unique environment within which a secondary succession takes place.
How to reinterpret the identity of the post-mining territory? Where does its value lie? How to ensure that the transition is aligned with the goals for climate and conservation of resources? How to process the historical stratigraphy present precisely where the very material on which it rested on is absent?
The project includes slope stabilization through ‘strategic’ vegetation, water management and treatment of Acidic Mine Drainage through extensive use of phyto-purification, while creating spaces for landscape contemplation.
‘Endet hier?’ (‘Does it end here?’) art installation highlights Hambach’s exceptional nature, monumental legacy, and the call for alternative energy sources.
A line on the ground in front of the remaining Hambach Forest, not to be crossed again in terms of the destruction of an ecosystem. A monument to failure doomed to failure, inevitably taken over by advancing nature.