Katrin Wolf

Katrin didn’t have far to travel from the Technical University of Munich to her RURASMUS community of Kirchanschöring in southern Bavaria. But that doesn’t matter. The architecture student’s fresh look at the municipality and her on-site experience added value for both sides.
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Why did you decide to do a countryside semester?
When a friend told me about RURASMUS, I was just looking for a topic for my master’s thesis. I was studying architecture at the TU Munich and when I found the right project on the RURASMUS website, I was convinced. I myself come from the countryside, from a place north of Munich. I find the discussion about rural spaces and the current challenges in terms of architecture and spatial planning incredibly exciting.
What was your RURASMUS project in Kirchanschöring about?
The village of Kirchanschöring, with its 3,000 inhabitants, would like to revitalize its center, as so many places do. So it was about the center of the village and what the inhabitants would like to make of it. At the beginning of my work, there was an analysis phase with “idea roundtables” with the residents. I then incorporated the results into a concept and design. I called the project “New life in the center – strategies and impulses for revitalizing vacant space in the center of Kirchanschöring.”
And what came out of it?
A village center cannot be revitalized overnight. That’s why I developed 20 measures that build on each other over time and give the center a perspective. Some of the steps can be implemented quickly, others are more complex and costly. In addition to strategic considerations, I also produced architectural designs for some of the measures – such as for a vacant stable building that I find particularly appropriate for strengthening the center of the village.

"The view changes when you dive in!"

What influence did it have on your project that you were on site?
Your view changes when you talk to local people and – at least for a short time – immerse yourself in the reality of their lives. I found it motivating to learn about their wishes, everyday life and needs. I don’t know how my master’s thesis would have developed if I hadn’t been there. Different, I’m sure.
How can I imagine your everyday life in the RURSAMUS community?
To be honest, I was intensely busy with my master’s thesis. The municipality provided me with a nice apartment in the center of town, where my RURASMUS predecessor had also lived. There I worked diligently. And of course I also went out from time to time, for example to explore the beautiful countryside while running or to take part in events at KuBa – Culture in the train station.
What funny, curious or beautiful experiences will you remember?
Shortly after I arrived, my apartment lock jammed, so I couldn’t get out. Wow, that was unpleasant. It was Saturday and I had to call the mayor personally to get someone to free me. And then the same thing happened to me a second time with the new lock. Fortunately, the people of Kirchanschöringen were very helpful and patient with me.


Name: Katrin Wolf
Period: October 2022 to January 2023
Rurasmus Community: Kirchanschöring, Bavaria, Germany
Topic: New life in the center – strategies and impulses for the revitalization of vacant spaces in the center of Kirchanschöring (Master thesis)
Studies: Architecture
University: Technical University of Munich
Prof. Mark Michaeli / Technical University of Munich
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