Skilift Sonnenberg

Intervention, speculative architecture, 2019

I was invited by ASA-FF & “Marxmobil” to create a participative project to foster a discussion around alternative mobility. “Sonnenberg” is an area of Chemnitz hit particularly hard by the exodus of people after the fall of the GDR, with lots of beautiful old Gründerzeit-era buildings empty and in decay. One big problem of Sonnenberg is the heavy traffic: The main roads are busy with cars.


Planning office interieur
Planning office interieur

To invite a discussion about that traffic and alternative ways to move through the city and experience the beautiful architecture, i created the „Skilift Sonnenberg“, a company with the plan to create 2 ski lifts running up the most affected streets crossing the Sonnenberg hill. I set up a a planning office, inviting the locals to visit and give their feedback on the plans:

If a Ski lift is not the solution, what is?

The vision: a ski lift in the city center

Visualisation of what the streets could look like without cars, but with a ski lift.

Viral campaign

To get the attention of the Chemnitz residents, i created a website, Facebook page and a viral sticker campaign against the Skilift („NO SKI LIFT AT THE SONNENBERG“).

My background of growing up in West-Germany also offered me a chance to play into the stereotype of patronising „Wessis“ (Germans from the BRD) coming to the Ex-GDR and telling the people there how to „run things“ in a capitalistic context, often ignoring local talents.



The planning office

Planning office from the outside
Planning office from the outside

The planning office was divided in two parts: In the front, my „vision“ for the ski lift was presented, in the back room visitors were invited to draw their own vision of the future of Sonnenberg on large-scale maps.

Planning office, back room with posters
Planning office, back room with posters


Event: The laying of the foundation stone

Michael Milow performing the laying the foundation stone (a marshmallow).

Performance "Laying of the foundation stone"
Performance “Laying of the foundation stone”

Very special thanks to Nino Micklich (MarxMobil) and Michael Milow.