Making Room

Platzpro­jekt is part of the port­fo­lio of places with which the cul­tur­al office of the city admin­is­tra­tion of Hanover is com­pet­ing as a can­di­date for the Euro­pean Cap­i­tal of Cul­ture 2025.

About six­teen years ago, two skaters found a plot of fal­low land in Hanover-Linden’s indus­tri­al area. They start to clean up and build a small skate park. In 2009, they form an asso­ci­a­tion, nego­ti­ate an inter­im use con­tract with the own­er togeth­er with the city council’s sup­port, and reach a lease agree­ment for one euro per year, which is still valid today. In 2013, anoth­er asso­ci­a­tion is cre­at­ed: Platzpro­jekt aims to cre­ate a space for ini­tia­tives, a place for self-help, for mutu­al sup­port offer­ing knowl­edge, tools, and crafts­man­ship. Research funds and state sub­si­dies enable the estab­lish­ment of long-term par­tic­i­pa­tion struc­tures for young peo­ple who want to dis­cuss their cities in self-orga­nized spaces and active­ly shape them.


Project

PlatzPro­jekt


Actors

PlatzPro­jekt e.V., respon­si­ble body; City of Hanover, co-financ­ing, nego­ti­a­tion; Metro Group, land own­er­ship; Fed­er­al Min­istry of the Envi­ron­ment, co-financing


Year

Since 2013, found­ing of the association


Loca­tion

Hanover, Ger­many

© Chi­na Hopson
In 2004, a group of skaters occu­pied an over­grown piece of land in an indus­tri­al area in the west of Han­nover. The city admin­is­tra­tion and the dis­trict may­or Rain­er-Jörg Grube sup­port­ed the project by sign­ing a lease and extend­ing the activ­i­ties to a neigh­bor­ing prop­er­ty. © Philip Robin­son Crusius
© Sam Green

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A Somewhat Different Ministry of Space

Again and again, Min­istry of Space also works with choirs and musi­cians. Here: the choir of the nurs­ing home in the Bežani­js­ka Kosa dis­trict dur­ing a per­for­mance in the Ulič­na galer­i­ja (street gallery). The gallery, which has exist­ed since 2012, occu­pies a pub­lic pas­sage­way in the cen­ter of Bel­grade for fleet­ing moments. The events that have tak­en place-as many as 150 solo and group exhi­bi­tions and 80 oth­er event-are intend­ed to pro­mote a forum for a crit­i­cal dis­course on urban pol­i­cy issues out­side of com­mer­cial gal­leries and muse­ums. © Kamerades

Even if Min­istry of Space sounds quite offi­cial, it is not a state-run min­istry. Con­cealed behind the name is a small group of activists com­mit­ted to social jus­tice. Thus, the group fights for a city that ben­e­fits all those who live there. They fight against cor­rupt prac­tices, the mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of pub­lic mon­ey, and—as they argue—abuses of pow­er by polit­i­cal play­ers. In this way, the activists mon­i­tor, ana­lyze, and crit­i­cal­ly com­ment upon large-scale urban devel­op­ment projects by transna­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions and the pri­va­ti­za­tion of pub­lic assets. They scru­ti­nize the con­struc­tion of lux­u­ry res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties or shop­ping cen­ters. Through their work, the group thus sup­ports a broad protest cul­ture that demands civ­il soci­ety inclu­sion in urban pol­i­cy events.


Project

Min­istarst­vo Pros­to­ra (Min­istry of Space)


Actors

Iva Čuk­ić, Jovana Tim­o­ti­je­vić, Radomir Lazović, Dobri­ca Veseli­nović , Marko Aksen­ti­je­vić, Min­istarst­vo Prostora


Year

Since 2011


Loca­tion

Bel­grade, Serbia

Protest Ne davi­mo Beograd. © Marko Rupena
The giant yel­low duck became the sym­bol of the ini­tia­tive “Don’t let Bel­grade D®own”, which made pub­lic the trans­for­ma­tion and dis­place­ment process­es along Belgrade’s river­side, protest­ing against forced evic­tions of exist­ing build­ings and the relo­ca­tion of impor­tant infra­struc­ture for the con­struc­tion of exclu­sive res­i­den­tial and office build­ings. © Min­istarst­vo prostora
Don’t Let Bel­grade Drown © Min­istarst­vo prostora
Don’t Let Bel­grade Drown © Min­istarst­vo prostora
© Iva Čukić

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Work Yard for Construction Materials

The work yard set up by Bel­la­s­tock is simul­ta­ne­ous­ly a ware­house, recy­cling work­shop, gar­den and stage for pro­to­types made from build­ing rub­ble. © Bellastock

Why is the cur­rent mantra in the con­struc­tion indus­try build, build, build—when reuse, recy­cling, or oth­er forms of respon­si­ble use of resources should be the focus of atten­tion? The inter­dis­ci­pli­nary col­lec­tive Bel­la­s­tock address­es this and oth­er major prob­lems in the con­struc­tion indus­try. La Fab­rique du Clos in Stains, a small town in the north-east of Paris, was used to store mate­ri­als from the demo­li­tion of res­i­den­tial tow­ers. Yet the yard also became a meet­ing place and stage for the neighborhood’s res­i­dents. There were dis­cus­sions: about future urban spaces, how and by whom and with what they will be designed. These activ­i­ties result­ed in pro­to­types for sheds, plant­i­ng beds, arbors, street pave­ment, play­ground equip­ment, bench­es, pavil­ions, and much more. They show how small-scale alter­na­tives can chal­lenge estab­lished systems.


Project

La Fab­rique du Clos


Actors

Bel­la­s­tock, archi­tects, Cen­tre Sci­en­ti­Wique et Tech­nique du Bâtiment (CSTB), L’Amicale des Locataire, Closerie du Lézard, Léonard Nguyen, Mael Canal, Fred Kei, Cheb Chantier, Clé­ment Guil­laume, Régie de Quarti­er de Stains, Cen­tre de Loisirs Romain Rol­land, Sauve­g­arde 93


Year

2015—2018


Loca­tion

Clos Saint-Lazare, Stains, France

Con­crete walls are cut to the required sizes. © Alex­is Leclercq
A gar­den bed with walls of con­crete blocks in tra­di­tion­al dry con­struc­tion. © Clé­ment Guillaume
The decon­struc­tion of build­ings usu­al­ly hap­pens by the down­right smash­ing of the built struc­ture. Here in Stains, parts have been ›saved‹ to demon­strate that many mate­ri­als that would oth­er­wise sim­ply end up on rub­ble heaps could have a sec­ond life. © Bellastock

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Community-Building Constructions

Casa do Vapor, Lis­bon (2013). Togeth­er with many local col­lab­o­ra­tors, the inter­dis­ci­pli­nary col­lec­tive Con­struct­Lab built and used this build­ing on the south side of the Tejo, which was simul­ta­ne­ous­ly an open-air class­room, pub­lic library, kitchen, bicy­cle repair shop, skate ramp and play­ground, and a piz­za oven. It was built with recy­cled wood from anoth­er project and was sim­ple enough for chil­dren to par­tic­i­pate as well as adults. Even though the tem­po­rary struc­ture had to be dis­man­tled at the end of the sum­mer, the social links and bonds that had been formed over the short peri­od are still evi­dent today. © Alexan­der Römer

The works of con­struct­Lab unfold in the cos­mos between imag­i­na­tion and life. But the focus of the collective’s work is not on cre­at­ing fixed and unal­ter­able facts. Instead, they active­ly seek ways to give form to the desires and hopes expressed in appro­pri­a­tions. The Baukiosk takes on the role of a sym­bol in this con­text. As a com­plex struc­ture, it embod­ies a par­tic­u­lar form of city-mak­ing that combines—or delib­er­ate­ly collides—differing inter­ests with dif­fer­ent oppor­tu­ni­ties. Thus, the kiosk is a meet­ing place as well as a col­lec­tion point. Ana­log bill­board and dig­i­tal dis­play. Infor­ma­tion sys­tem and rest­ing point. It is always many things and every­thing at once.


Project

Baukiosk


Actors

con­struct­Lab


Year

2020


Loca­tion

Berlin, Ger­many

© Alexan­der Römer
The Arch, Genk (2017). Designed as an exper­i­men­tal lab­o­ra­to­ry, this project was ded­i­cat­ed to rethink­ing the his­to­ry of the small Bel­gian town. For­mer­ly dom­i­nat­ed by min­ing and indus­tries, the ques­tion of the future of Genk was at the cen­ter of events and work­shops. © Julie Guiches

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Test City

Since 2019, it has been pos­si­ble to test live in the city of Görlitz—100 kilo­me­ters east of Dres­den and direct­ly on the Pol­ish bor­der. Near­ly 150 peo­ple respond­ed to the call to get to know the city for more than four weeks through tem­po­rary set­tle­ment. By the end of March 2020, 55 adults and sev­en chil­dren had test­ed liv­ing and work­ing in Gör­litz. One of them is the pho­tog­ra­ph­er Niko­las Fabi­an Kam­mer­er, who pro­duced the fol­low­ing pic­tures dur­ing his test liv­ing in Gör­litz. Here you can see the view from the Nico­laiturm towards Land­skro­ne. © Niko­las Fabi­an Kammerer

Due to out-migra­tion, the city of Gör­litz has shrunk by a quar­ter of its pop­u­la­tion since the 1990s. In 2008, a research group of the TU Dres­den and the Gör­litz city admin­is­tra­tion dared an exper­i­ment to attract new peo­ple to the city. Tem­po­rary liv­ing in Gör­litz should reveal the qual­i­ties and poten­tial of this place. Probe­wohnen, Stadt Erleben, and Stadt auf Probe, and now the fourth edi­tion of the project is under­way. Those inter­est­ed can try out liv­ing in the city and get to know the net­works in the cul­tur­al and youth sec­tors. They can use shared work­spaces as well as work­shops and thus direct­ly explore new social and pro­fes­sion­al perspectives.


Project

Stadt auf Probe—Wohnen und Arbeit­en in Görlitz


Actors

Leib­niz-Insti­tute of Eco­log­i­cal Urban and Region­al Devel­op­ment (I.R) rep­re­sent­ed through the Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Cen­tre for Eco­log­i­cal and Revi­tal­is­ing Urban Trans­for­ma­tion (ISZ); OfWice for Urban Devel­op­ment of the City of Gör­litz; Komm­Wohnen Ser­vice GmbH, munic­i­pal hous­ing com­pa­ny; KoLAB­O­Rac­ja e.V., Kühlhaus e.V., Wild­wuchs e.V., Fed­er­al Min­istry of the Inte­ri­or, Build­ing and Com­mu­ni­ty, co-funding


Year

2018—2020


Loca­tion

Gör­litz, Germany

View from the Pol­ish side of the riv­er Neisse in direc­tion of St. Peter’s Church. © Niko­las Fabi­an Kammerer
Fish­er­men on the Neisse Riv­er on the Pol­ish shore. © Niko­las Fabi­an Kammerer

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Architecture’s Second Life

Care­ful removal of a wall cladding made of Car­rara mar­ble pan­els at the Nord­bahn­hof sta­tion in Brus­sels. © Rotor

The work of Rotor and Rotor Decon­struc­tion (RotorDC) is not con­cerned with the con­struc­tion of build­ings or cities as we know them. Instead, the office devel­ops strate­gies for the care­ful decon­struc­tion of hous­es slat­ed for demo­li­tion. Mate­ri­als recov­ered through these process­es of dis­man­tling are re-claimed and offered for sale on a web­site. The spec­trum is broad and ranges from cab­i­net han­dles to oak par­quet, from lamps to porce­lain wash­basins, from glass blocks to floor tiles. Rotor’s gen­er­al aim is to raise aware­ness of exist­ing assets and cre­ate a legal frame­work for reuse. Many local author­i­ties now use the collective’s hand­book when con­sid­er­ing new lives for exist­ing pub­lic buildings.


Project

Rotor / RotorDC (Rotor Deconstruction)


Actors

Rotor, archi­tects, lawyers, researchers, con­sul­tants, educators


Year

Since 2016


Loca­tions

Var­i­ous

Assort­ed acoustic pan­els from the Générale de Banque build­ing in Brus­sels. © Rotor
Work­ers dis­as­sem­ble a ceil­ing cov­er­ing. © Rotor
Inside the Insti­tut de Génie Civ­il in Liège, Bel­gium. How can build­ings be designed, asks Lionel Devlieger of Rotor, so that their com­po­nents become avail­able and as use­ful as pos­si­ble for a sec­ond or even third life? © Olivi­er Béart

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The Cooperative Housing Project Above a Tram Depot

© Mar­tin Stollenwerk

The large, up to sev­en-sto­ry res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial build­ing in Zurich’s Wiedikon dis­trict is any­thing but ordi­nary. The build­ing is like a small town: com­plete with day­care cen­ter, doctor’s office, bank, art-house cin­e­ma, bars, restau­rant, flower shop, and tram depot. Fur­ther­more, Kalk­bre­ite is a cer­ti­fied »2000 Watt site in oper­a­tion«: Through active sus­tain­abil­i­ty mea­sures, those liv­ing and work­ing there reduce their eco­log­i­cal foot­print. Peo­ple cook and eat togeth­er, work­rooms are shared, an object library makes it pos­si­ble to bor­row equip­ment, and no one has their own car. The result­ing sav­ings are cur­rent­ly around 50% com­pared to aver­age house­hold usage in Zurich. The vision­ary approach of the Kalk­bre­ite will, in the long term, be applied to the entire city in order to con­tribute marked­ly to cli­mate justice.


Project

Res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial build­ing Kalkbreite


Actors

Genossen­schaft Kalk­bre­ite, plan­ning and con­tract; Müller Sigrist Archi­tects AG, archi­tec­ture office; HAAG. LA, land­scape archi­tec­ture; City of Zurich, property


Year

Since 2006, work­shop stadt. labor / »Visions for the Kalk­bre­ite Site«; 2014, build­ing occupancy


Loca­tion

Zurich, Switzer­land

Genossen­schaft Kalk­bre­ite, Zurich, Müller Sigrist Architek­ten © Michael Egloff
In addi­tion to the pub­licly acces­si­ble inner court­yard of Kalk­bre­ite, which is locat­ed above the street­car hall of the depot, there are oth­er out­door spaces such as the acces­si­ble roof areas, which are only acces­si­ble to the res­i­dents of the block. © Genossen­schaft Kalk­bre­ite, Volk­er Schopp
© Genossen­schaft Kalk­bre­ite, Volk­er Schopp

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From Wasteland to Neighborhood Local

The so-called Farm­House is con­sid­ered the heart of Par­ck­farm. The sec­ond-hand green­house was moved from the Nether­lands to Brus­sels. Today, it serves as a place for meet­ings, cook­ing, and eat­ing. One of the ini­tia­tors was the design office 1010 Archi­tec­ture Urban­ism, which man­aged the par­tic­i­pa­to­ry build­ing process in coop­er­a­tion with the JES and Yota! orga­ni­za­tions. © Rossel & Cie — Bruno D’Alimonte

In the north of Brus­sels, sur­round­ed by streets and yet almost hard to find, a small par­adise has emerged. In 2013, a diverse team put an idea into prac­tice: they com­bined the spe­cial and unique fea­tures of a park with urban agri­cul­ture and micro-farm­ing. Involved were local ini­tia­tives and groups that had been using the fringes of the fal­low land for some time for the col­lec­tive cul­ti­va­tion of fruit and veg­eta­bles, small ani­mal hus­bandry, and pigeon­ries. The result­ing location—Parckfarm—still brings the neigh­bor­hood togeth­er today. Dif­fer­ent actors orga­nize var­i­ous activ­i­ties, work­shops, gar­den­ing, and debates. How­ev­er, a land use plan for the area is now in place. Neigh­bor­hood asso­ci­a­tions and ini­tia­tives see access to and use of the park as threatened.


Project

Par­ck­farm


Actors

Par­ck­farm T&T asbl, asso­ci­a­tion and coor­di­na­tion; res­i­dents of the neigh­bor­hoods, ini­tia­tives and col­lab­o­ra­tion; Alive Archi­tec­ture and Tak­tyk, cocu­ra­tion; IBGE — Insti­tut Brux­el­lois pour la Ges­tion de l’Environnement, com­mis­sion and co Winancing


Year

Since 2014, open­ing at the Par­ck­de­sign Biennale


Loca­tion

Brus­sels, Belgium

Par­ck­farm was ini­tial­ly planned for only five months, but thanks to the ini­tia­tive of numer­ous res­i­dents and oth­er sup­port­ers, it still exists six years lat­er. © Par­ck­farm T&T
Peo­ple from the neigh­bor­hood come togeth­er on-site to grow fruit and veg­eta­bles. Bees, chick­ens, ducks, and sheep are also kept. © Par­ck­farm T&T
The col­or­ful bee-cars or bee-wag­ons, which can be pulled by a bicy­cle, were devel­oped by the Roy­al Bee­keep­ing Soci­ety of Brus­sels and Sur­round­ings (SRABE). Bee­keep­ers like Mok­tar pro­duce and sell their hon­ey here. Vis­i­tors can tour the bee colonies and learn more about the crit­i­cal role these insects play in our liv­ing envi­ron­ment. © Dieter Telemans

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