Berlin: The Marzahn Metal Project

The project is a co-operation between KunstwerkstattMarzahn and architecture students from the Universität der Künste Berlin in an intercultural team between the youths from Jugendzentrum Betonia and  young refugees from Syria recently displaced to the neighborhood. The project proclaim the integration creating an open multicultural collective with residents from Marzahn, artists, and architects working together to design and build differents interventions in the berliner district (Marzahn-East Berlin) made by metal.

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Our curiosity lies in the city and their processes. The urban landscape of Marzahn offers the basis for experiments into our contemporary condition and gives us the opportunity to question, to tune into and to discover new realities.  MMP Manifest


In the midst of the refugee crisis with Germany at center stage of the quickly unfolding situation. Berlin’s cultural diversity are expanding to suburban neighborhoods. About the well-known german Prefabricated-Quartier there’s a lot of prejudices, for years the district was disrepute with the higher unemployment rate and uninhabited flats. Here in Marzahn each 2 of 3 children lives in Hartz-IV (social assistance) families.

Berlin, Marzahn, Neubaugebiet, Wohnblocks
Berlin-Marzahn, 1987. Becoming the goal of DDR’s social policy agenda (Wohnungsbauprogramm der DDR). Marzahn, was together with the fronterize Hellersdorf the bigger urbanization builded in Germany. In Summer 1977 was placed in the fields on the outskirts of Berlin the first concrete block and in the following years 100.000 flats were builded up. Wikipedia
Hochhaus Plattenbauromantik aus Berlin-Marzahn 2013.

Because the highly increasing prices of the rent, the city are quickly swallowing the Subculture scene. Due the Gentrification, progressively buildings dedicated to offer studios and spaces for creativity are disappearing by the luxury property market. The change in the suburbs can be seen mainly in the artistic scene. Increasingly in the last three years many artists are migrating to the periphery.

There’s no other district where the rent is lower as here, almost each seventh habitants is in poverty’s risk and each fifth lives with social financement from Government.

Marzah Metal Project started in June 2016 through differents meetings and workshops at Kerta’s von Kubin studio in Alte Börse Marzahn. Where the participants had the opportunity to learn how to work with metal and develop own sceneries, designs, and ideas for the project. Along the meetings they outlined some conclusions dealing with the urbanistic and architectonic improvement for the Marzahners enjoyment. For example, producing urban furniture from upcycled shopping trolleys, turning an abandoned supermarket into an skatepark or building self managed and sustainable spaces (as a cafe-library or an outdoor sport park) in concrete locations inner the neighborhood.

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And I was gladly invited to form part of them.

Meeting at UDK.

Due my work comes through an urban exploration, as a consequence belongs a reflexion about the city and its differents geographies. Together we worked on my studio as a laboratory, inquiring in our own visions about the city such as exploring the refugee experience and the importance of social inclusion in a diverse society in reference to the difficult experiences that lead to a person leaving their homeland.

Collage as a medium that allows reality been reinterpreted. The team chose the themes and imagery for the compositions specially as a support for our analysis and redefinition of the Marzahn’s landscapes, -either  architectural, urbanistic or territorial- offering a better way to see and understand concrete ideas about specific locations in furtherance of the final project, which will be evaluated for a committee at Universität der Künste Berlin with the goal of continuing this work in the future.

Images courtesy of Marzahn Metal Project.