Jakob Wirth

Penthaus à la Parasit

Penthaus à la Parasit

Guerilla Intervention. Berlin, Bernau, München, 2019/2020. Collaboration with Alexander Zakharov.

#top_down_appropriation #gentrification #appropriation_of_the_roof #housing_crisis #occupation #hijack #righttothecity

Further Information: www.penthaus-a-la-parasit.de

CONTEXT: Berlin, a city where the housing market is out of control. Over five years the price of rent has doubled and gentrification has become one of the most present topics in public discussions with expropriation being an alternative method for preventing the further dynamics of financialization of the real estate market.

The Penthouse à la Parasit tries to resist this accelerating housing market. Instead of being expelled to the periphery of the city, it goes up onto the roof. Before, the spaces on roofs were usually reserved for the exclusive Penthouses. Now these places have been appropriated by the Penthaus à la Parasit as it begins to recapture the houses from top to bottom.

An appropriation from above was realized by looking at the niches and gaps and inhabiting them. Therefore the Penthaus à la Parasit began to experiment with the limits and norms of the building laws and ownership, Thereby it challenges these set hierarchies of the housing market and the order of the city.

The privilege of freedom, farsightedness, centrality and the right to the city remain precarious as they are constantly threatened and unstabilized. 

The Penthaus creates a situation wherein the citizens can reclaim their power to act. To give people the opportunity to experience this, it opens its doors to everybody interested. People can apply to spend one night in the precarious penthouse under the term “DEMO-HOUSING” or in the context of Munich under „Residence at Penthaus à la Parasite“ (watch the video below).

The parasitic of the penthouse is represented by occupying the niches of the city, in the inversion of power relations and at the same time, by pointing out a room to maneuver as each system allows. It raises the question: To whom does the rooftop belong to? And who actually is the host and the parasite? Are the residents parasites or the owners? Is it the Penthaus à la Parasite? Or is it in fact, the Property à la Parasite?

During the first period, the Penthaus à la Parasite stayed on a rooftop for seven weeks without permission. During this time, activities took place to enable the rooftop and to depict the possibility of using unused space.

Press (selection)

Deutschlandfunk Kultur: Kunstprotest auf dem Dach. Das parasitäre Penthaus.

rbb: Besser geht immer.

vice: 34.150 € für ein Klo und das beste Panorama der Stadt.

taz: Künstler protestiert gegen Wohnungsnot

Photos: © Jakob Wirth

Residence at Penthaus à la Parasit

Video produced in cooperation with: Acting, montage, codirector: Juan Carlos Lo Sasso, Music: Penguin Cafè Orchestra – Another one from the colonies. Voice: Lorenz Prasch,

Video produced in cooperation with LOCOLOR Productions – https://www.locolor.de

Mit Drohnenaufnahmen von Emil Levy, Off-Sprecher Gregor Kuhlmann