Welcome to the Refuge! Housing as a basic human right!

In 2016 the Plattform Nachwuchsarchitekt*innen called on all creatives to present all their unbuilt and not realised designs for Berlin under the title ‘Welcome to the Refuge! Housing as a basic human right!’. ZRS Architekten and Studio Schultz•Granberg were awarded second price with their competition entry ‘BASAR BERLING – the new Gründerstadt’.

The architects created the concept for a new ‘Gründer* quarter’ with the motto ‘There is no refugee issue, there is only the issue of housing. The combination of living and working is the premise for integration’. The design is on the empty plot on Cuvrystrasse in Berlin-Kreuzberg and shows an adaptable and flexible housing and working structure for regugees, people with low income, creative and dedicated citizens – a space to arrive in.

[Excerpt from the jury protocol]

‘…The project follows the core idea that housing and work is the basic requirement for integration. This is illustrated in the combination of known city elements to a larger complex in which different levels of integration can take place. There is a pedestal level with commercial units that are oriented according to the image of a bazar and with working space for the residents. On top of this level basic modules are placed which are dimensioned according to the apartments unit’s size and offer different types of living space for the diverse residents. In between the modules the circulation area creates space for encounters and communication within the units. The concepts convince with its design made specially for the empty lot on central and urban Cuvry-Straße with its diverse residents and their interests. Thus, the integration in the surroundings and the activating of the urban space can only be concluded.

*German for founder but the term Gründerzeit (founding era) is used to describe the economic era of the industrialisation in the late 1900 century and/or the architectural style and typology that followed.

Posted on: 20. January 2021