Baupalast am Dragoner is a prototype of a self-designing urban laboratory. It is based in Berlin Kreuzberg. The project aims to socially engage the public in urban development. The idea is to create a welfare-oriented new neighbourhood by the civil society working together with initiatives and the municipality. The foundations of the project were laid by ConstructLab, Guerrilla Architects, IFAH- Institute für Angewandte Heteropie, film production Off-screen, Kairo Kulturkiosk, Commando Karate and Team von Books People Places.
Baupalast generates a place to learn and to question. Temporary open workshops, project work, art and other kinds of discourse formats in every conceivable field are created to raise awareness for urban development. It experiments with new forms of housing, commercial construction and the redevelopment of listed buildings.
The temporary support structures, that are erected by ConstructLab, are based on building huts (from: traditionally called Bauhütten in German). Support structures are creating a stronger connection with the surrounding space, they allow a continuous access to unfinished buildings and assist them until the structures are not needed anymore. These structures are equipped with a workshop, canteen and places to stay, meet and sleep therefore, it creates a support system for the active Participation in the socio-spatial development of one’s own life.
The project intends to draw attention to problems, which are part of the everyday life in the city. Questions concerning political, legal and spatial grey areas are raised and dealt within these projects. This open-minded space is needed for Berlin’s diverse, growing city and its inhabitants. A place to learn and to question…
ConstructLab is an international design-build network, based in Berlin. It was founded in 2012. The name ConstructLab comes from the idea of a laboratory which includes a collaborative construction practice working in a form of action research, interdisciplinary creations and constructive attitude and experimentation. There is no separation between designing and building, the participants are designer-builders and through their permanent presence, the places are imbued with life. Most of the projects are made of recycled materials and re-usable elements. They are designed for temporary use, but the goal is a long-lasting effect, which can be reached by involving the local community. As they also participate in the projects, they feel more responsibility to keep using and taking care of the space afterwards. ConstructLab understands architecture as a tool for social impact, which comes by combining the theoretical thinking and practical making.
“Construction is the first step of inhabitation
a door to the social reality of a particular locus
an amplifier of an already existing potential
a balance between individual desires and collective vision
the practice of a collaborative body
an exercise in engagement
open and accessible to all
as a participatory process
Construction is about embracing all surprises
not only a final form
a tool for communication
not only for the shaping of the material forms that surround us;
but our imagination towards different futures
A building site is a learning site
a meeting point
1: “The ConstructLab Hymn”, last accessed January 1, 2022, https://www.constructlab.net/about/