2023. Intervention in abandoned building site. Berlin. GER

Collaboration with Indra Küster, Thomas Mayer, Levon Partzsch & Operation Himmelblick. 

#privateproperty #squat #vacantbuildings #hijacking

Intervention  & commentary that took place at an advertising campaign by real estate developer BelleÉpoque accompanied by German Minister Geywitz on the demolition and new construction in Berlin. In Berlin Alt-Hohenschönhausen, we have launched an artist-in-residence program on a site of vacant prefabricated buildings that has been derelict for 20 years, thus exploring the potential of a past vision of housing and recalling the resources of vacancy. The building complex was once used for refugee housing of the sister states of the GDR. The Ruderal Winter residency explored the urban at its margins. 11 artists came together in the middle of winter to temporarily move into an abandoned building complex and create inspired from what they found.

Where the city is forgotten, the dance between time and space takes on a different rhythm. On stacked history, in the process of becoming forest, between transience and new beginnings, a crack emerges in the routinized constraint of the urban. The Ruderale Winter Residency explored the city where it had escaped control and followed its own rhythms.

The residency took place in an abandoned building complex in the middle of winter. One of the rooms was turned into a cozy livingroom beforehand. A wood stove provided cozy fire warmth, warm food was cooked improvised kitchen and a sauna in the courtyard give the possibility to enjoy even the coldest winter evening in the ruderal cracks of the city.

Between its concrete winter walls, with a wide view over Berlin, we invited eight artists to come together reflect, sense and create. The residency offered the abandoned site to connect with. It was an invitation to get in touch with the site, oneself and one another. From this process individual or collaborative artistic works emerged. In a public exhibition one week after the residency over 100 people visited the side to get in touch with what was created.

Below: Text from the flyer that we enclosed with the information brochures on the new building at the information event of the investors of the place, which say that it is impossible to work with the existing structure. 

“Empty prefabricated buildings provide a basis for modern self-build construction. The stable basic structure is the ideal prerequisite for trying out ecological construction: instead of demolition, it’s about building with and in existing buildings. Even non-professionals can create their own individual living spaces. The history of the places is not only told ecologically, but also personally and culturally.

Make your own impression on site. To view an example, simply make an appointment at”

Further Information:

Recorded live stream of inhabiting abandoned buildings – here

Fotos by Johannes Rau und Jakob Wirth