A self-build city lab

Who owns the city? Who designs a city? What does it mean to appropriate the city in which you live and work?

In early 2019 together with ConstructLab and some other actors, we founded the BAUPALAST initiative at ‘Rathausblock’, a model project of Berlin’s urban development for new forms of housing, commercial spaces and the redevelopment of historical buildings, in collaboration with the network of local initiatives of the active civil society. The BAUPALAST initiative was active as an on-site initiative until the beginning of 2021 and was committed to the creation of a process-oriented socio-cultural space that prototypically realizes various uses of the envisioned community-oriented spaces during the construction phase and transforms them into a long-term, self-managed experimental space in the new neighborhood. The reuse of a wooden structure by ConstructLab was considered as a physical support structure for the initiative. However, in the complex neighborhood development, it was not possible to find a location for the multifunctional structure – permitting issues, construction processes, and competition for space stood in the way of the project. As an alternative to the original large, common wooden structure, the BAUPALAST was simply divided into its individual parts. The building workshop is still on site and serves as a support structure for further initiatives.
Through the temporary use of an old warehouse – the ‘Adlerhalle’ – various project workshops (construction workshop, bicycle workshop, film and media workshop, a mobile wood-fired oven, a cultural kiosk with readings and an artists’ residence) were created over a period of two years. The reflection of the whole process of this campus of urban practice was guided and documented by stadtstattstrand. A compass was created that can help further urban practitioners to build up their own BAUPALAST…


  • Dominik Berton
  • Anja Fritz
  • Silvia Gioberti

in Zusammenarbeit mit

Supported by

Berlin Kreuzberg

  • 2019-2021