English Native

Connections between existing buildings of old ice factory and the newbuilt.
Connections between existing buildings of old ice factory and the newbuilt.

Historic development and new proposal with a newbuilt.
Historic development and new proposal with a newbuilt.

Existing and new structures.
Existing and new structures.

Theatre univerities, public and existing squatters come together in Eisfabrik.
Theatre univerities, public and existing squatters come together in Eisfabrik.


Facades and sections of newbuilt.
Facades and sections of newbuilt.

Transparent polycarbonate facade connects outside and inside.
Transparent polycarbonate facade connects outside and inside.

New constructions offer public spaces.
New constructions offer public spaces.




PROJECTINDEX
 
COLLAGE: REVITALIZATION OF THE EISFABRIK AREA IN BERLIN
University of Ljubljana
ARCHITECTURE

Searching for alternative renovation solutions of squatted and abandoned areas
My master thesis deals with the ruins of one of the oldest abandoned ice factories in Germany. Over the last two decades, the buildings once thriving with production, have been emptied and its program gradually replaced with unconventional uses. At the time of the Berlin wall, the Eisfabrik presented a physical border between the two opposing sides of the cold war. Operation at the plant ended in 1995 and since, the naked brick structures of the Eisfabrik have been attracting street artists, refugees and the young. However, the days of the urban ruin were disrupted and the access to its premises strictly forbidden. This culturally protected complex decays whilst sitting in one of the most sought after locations in the city along the river. The debate about gentrification in Berlin is growing at a worrying rate and whilst the Eisfabrik still stands safety rest of the river banks are being homogenised for commercial and entertainment programmes.

In the absence of control these abandoned areas in post cold war Berlin were thriving with alternative cultures for many years. In contrast, today the alternative are pushed to the suburbs, away from what was once a hub for independent organisations. The identity of the neighbourhoods are changing and the unconventional slowly disappearing with sky-rocketing rents. For this reason, the Eisfabrik refurbishment suggests a public park and a cultural educational programme with its main purpose being to connect different actors of society; the primary programme provides extra spaces for multiple theatre departments within the 3 Berlin universities. A new-build behaves as a catalyst, providing main university rooms, whereas the two existing buildings are made accessible and its usage suggested. The existing structures of the Eisfabrik are in time appropriated by the cultural network generated on site. The character of the neighbourhood reflects temporary and improvised structures. Usually self-built and sourced from up-cycled waste material, is brought from the squats to the smallest corners of public space. This urban and social collage inspire the design strategy; different parasite structures attaching to the Ruin, allowing for an ever-changing architecture defined by its users, the ‘squatters’.

In the spirit of squatting during the post cold war, renovation project calls for a re-organisation of public spaces and an alternative approach towards dealing with degraded areas. The project combines the existing squat on site with new program and therefore takes into consideration the long-term usage of the Eisfabrik as an urban ruin.