Achim hubel furrows his brow. The monument expert points to the facade of hellerstrabe 13: behind the inconspicuous pale yellow paint hides a renaissance half-timbered house, not a world-class building even in bamberg: "no burgher was allowed to demolish a house like this. One could make an ornament out of it", says hubel.
If what the project developer multi development, the stuttgart office MGF architekten and the savings bank bamberg are planning becomes reality, exactly what hubel and other preservationists fear will happen.
A whole series of listed buildings will have to make way for a rough project – in the heart of bamberg and presumably with the approval of the city council: the house at hellerstrabe 15 with its 15th century gewolbekeller. Century; the house hellerstrabe 13, a two-story half-timbered house from the 16. The hellerstabe 11 building, under which the immersion bath of the former jewish community is located – they are all to be removed: "this is a veritable clear-cut that is threatening to take place", says hubel.
The conflict between trade and historic preservation has been smoldering for a long time in this part of the city.
The evidence of a centuries-old settlement history, including a jewish community, is in the possession of the sparkasse bamberg, which has visibly taken little care of the historical legacy. There is a reason for this: the old houses stand in the way of a shopping arcade, which many hope will give the retail sector a much-needed boost and lure new customers back to bamberg from the green meadow.
In the summer there were still hopes that the dispute over the "quartier an der mauer" would be resolved could result in a compromise: with a protest action that also caused a sensation outside bamberg, bamberg’s monument protection associations managed to wring an order from the city council to save the three houses.
But now that the drafts are available, the belief in a solution that does justice to both interest groups is followed by disillusionment, at least on the part of the preservationists: "we have to admit that our concerns have not been taken into account in any way", says jorg handler, chairman of schutzgemeinschaft alt bamberg. Handler would like to see a way of dealing with the monumental substance that is worthy of a world heritage city. This precludes the demolition of three houses, says the city’s curator of local history, ekkehard arnetzl. He attests that the plans are "grossly unimaginative". In the world heritage site of bamberg, it must be possible to integrate the houses into the new design.
Savings bank director konrad gottschall not surprised by renewed criticism of the retail project.
He did not believe that the permanent dispute could be resolved by a new design. Nevertheless, he does not give up hope of reaching a "fair compromise" in the quarter by the wall to come. In his opinion, the winning design by architects MGF offers the chance to make the city wall and the mikwe tangible and to meet the economic requirements of a passageway.
For him, this also means not losing sight of the investors’ expectations in terms of visitor frequency and the usable space of over 14,000 square meters. For gottschall, this is not profit maximization, but a dictate of reason: "we all do not want a second case of theatergassen."
Can historic preservation and economic interests also be reconciled in bamberg’s old town?? For the prize-winning architects from stuttgart, this is primarily a question of the objectives set by the client. Josef hammerl of the MGF office speaks on the one hand of a successful integration of the city walls from the 13th century. And 15. Century. They are to be literally shuttered out of the country and, like the mikveh, become a living part of new buildings.
Nevertheless, the project has its price. For hammerl, there is no future for the controversial houses in the old jewish quarter: "without a significant reduction in the usable space, the houses in hellerstrabe cannot be maintained."