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Reciprocation of the Reclaimed

Part 2 Project 2014
Claire Burrell
Leeds Beckett University, UK
At the fall of the Berlin wall there was a boom of culture. Modern day Berlin sees a disconnection throughout the city, namely of the free form, self made, artist communes with the commercial sector of the city. Much of the cities abandoned buildings were occupied by squatters in the west. Inspired by Tacheles a squat in Berlin that has recently been closed, the project explores squatting as a future architectural utopian way of living, the architecture seeks to become an active participation in the building of a community and organisation through communal action.

The thesis project began with exploration into squatting in Berlin, the conflict between art and policy and how this changes the city. There is evident difference from Berlin’s residents and the squatters of Berlin. Many Squatters create a sustainable lifestyle through communal renovation, divided work load and shared common areas. They create or renovate buildings, furniture from reclaimed materials from unskilled manual labour. The most obvious achievement of squatting is the housing of thousands of people who would otherwise be homeless.

To create a new connection of the community within an increasingly gentrified area, the proposal would be built in stages and continue to expand. The first phase of the development is the reclaimed Materials store, Berlin has many recycling stores within it’s city but few for large scale construction waste centres. The storage facility is able to collect vital resources for the infrastructure that can be re-used, it provides a place to trade, sell, buy materials and precious goods.

The second stage of the proposition is to create a community hub, which provides a safe connection from the school to the park. Education zones, which have extra facilities for the surrounding schools to use, these are to encourage specialist subjects that may not be available to children in school. Thirdly the community hub will provide a place for the community to have their say, to debate and make adaptation to their city. This will be open to any walking by on the street, open access for all.

Claire Burrell


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