What's Happening in Each Phase??
Over the past two years, Prädikow, a lab near Berlin within the OpenHeritage project has had the inspired objective of creating housing through heritage reuse. Prädikow, an bucolic village 40 minutes from Berlin has been home to an old estate where there was once a distillery, smithy, barns, stables, and space for agricultural production. The project was spearheaded by a group of 45 Berilners who have been working with the collective, Selbestau eG in 2017 as well as the Trias Foundation.
Within the purview of the project the heritage passed down through the site has been a sense of community that new residents what to revitalise and bring to the forefront. In doing so several interested future residents have come together with the Trias foundation and the cooperative, SelbstBau, to create a project that creates housing not for profit but for the reuse of the heritage site and the creation of housing.
The process of the project initially began in 2018 and so far there have been three major phases so far:
- Measuring the buildings and taking stock of the space.
Before the project of re adapting the estate could even begin the site had to be measured and assessed in terms of the structural soundness of the building. However, more than just that older residents who had worked at the estate participated in workshops about the area as sources of knowledge about Prädikow and helped remove or locate remaining toxic waste from the old factory site. One of the biggest achievements that helped get the project off the ground was the funding from the German Ministry of Family Affairs. The group received the funds to measure and take stock of the buildings. Without this initial cost covered the residents would have had to cover it themselves which would have slowed the project’s momentum.
- Creating floor plans for 30 different apartments
Currently, the project is only handling 5 of the 15 buildings on the estate. However, creating the floor plans collaboratively with future residents as well within the limits of permissible construction for a heritage site has been quite a challenge. While for building 15 the choices were easier to manage because it was a house for three flats and already had an infrastructure similar to a home, the planning for building 14 which was formerly a stable was much more difficult. As a site that has several buildings with heritage protection such as the stable, putting in new windows or radically changing the physical framework was out of the question.
- More detailed planning around the cost of installing and maintaining water and electricity within the buildings.
- Obtaining permission for construction
At the moment the project is in phase three. Now that the floor plans are finished, it’s also time to rehabilitate the estate’s ability have a running electricity and water system. Residents as well as the cooperative are exploring sustainable options for their future home. However, importantly within this process, the pricing of installation of water and electricity will impact the cost of housing. After the completion of assessing an deciding the planning for water and electrical fixtures the future residents will be given a new option to stay or to leave the project depending on the cost analysis that is produced.
- Begin construction in Spring 2020
Moving towards this phase the project has begin to seek permissions to begin construction and contact construction companies.