Robert K. Huber, Director of BHROX bauhaus reuse and founder of the new ETOM NEB Lab, © European Union, 2024

The new «ETOM NEB Lab» was initiated by BHROX bauhaus reuse – NEB partner and physical hub for the Lab in Berlin – together with NEB partners The Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Center (KEK), ICOMOS international, National Gallery Prague (NGP), Slovak Design Center (SDC), Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA) and Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE).

The ETOM NEB Lab is a co-creation lab to evolve and realize trans-national cooperation, best-practice, research, and capacity building. The Lab builds for a circular ecosystem on a three-year rhythm to bear and sustain plural transdisciplinary collaboration projects and to establish a decentralized and recurring European Triennial of Modernism (ETOM) festival.
The growing Lab and ETOM partnership already includes around 10 official NEB-community members and 30 more partners from 15 countries, on a heterogeneous and cross-sectoral background, with an initial emphasis on Central Europe.
The Lab’s and ETOM motto «Diverse Modernism | Modern Diversity» reflects an inclusive approach, addressing the trans-European heritage, global and future perspectives of Modernism and the variety of protagonists, and today involved actors, backgrounds and agencies. This includes the built heritage of Modernism and history of modern ideas, its transnational genesis and contemporary approaches, and the sustainability and resilience of modern values, such as societal emancipation, social equality, and democratic participation and its relevance for contemporary planetary challenges.

The intersection between the quality of the urban environment and its impact on identity and purpose was the focal point the panel discussion, on the fourth day of the New European Bauhaus Festival. This thematic resonates deeply within our collective consciousness and necessitates an extensive examination.

Robert K. Huber, Director of BHROX bauhaus reuse and founder of the new ETOM NEB Lab, introduced the concept of “Progressive Heritage” to elucidate the intrinsic connection between the genesis of Modernism and contemporary imperatives for sustainable development in our urban landscape.
Emphasizing the imperative of social cohesion, environmental sustainability, and the adaptive reuse of modern architectural assets, this discourse featured contributions from distinguished figures such as Klara Geywitz, Federal Minister for Housing, Urban Development, and Building Germany, Mateja Softić, Co-founder of ISKRIVA, Tanya Hristova, CHAIR of the SEDEC Commission of the European Committee of the Regions and  Arne Cornelius Wasmuth, Founding Director of dieDAS Academy.

Photos © European Union, 2024

The session was expertly moderated by Eszter Dávida, Urban Planner and Member of the NEB High-Level roundtable.
Central to the discussion was the inquiry into strategies for infusing modern heritage with progressive qualities to support sustainable future development. Robert K. Huber introduced the ETOM-NEB-Lab initiative, a co-creation of the European Triennial of Modernism, aimed at fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and action. The collaborative effort involves BHROX bauhaus reuse, serving as the physical hub in Berlin, alongside esteemed partners such as (KEK) The Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Center, ICOMOS International, (NGP) National Gallery Prague, (SDC) Slovak Design Center, (EKA) Estonian Academy of Arts, (ACE) Architects’ Council of Europe and

The essence of the initiative lies in transcending national boundaries to explore the genesis of Modernism in Central Europe, harnessing its relevance to contemporary challenges and aims to exploit the power of progressive heritage to enhance social unity in Europe and promote sustainable approaches for revitalizing our architectural landscape.