The Individuals' Cooperative in Berlin

Jez Wells (architect, cool guy, beloved and sorely missed former employee of Light House, now based Melbourne) was fortunate enough to attend Germany's 2017 Tag der Architektur (Day of Architecture) in Berlin, in June 2017.

He has written an article via his blog, Solvables, reflecting on: the day, social housing in both Australia and abroad, and his highly anticipated visit to Praeger Richter Architects' Ausbauhaus Neukölln. As Jez explains, this project is a recent example of the highly successful cooperative development model known as a baugruppe. Literally translating to “building group”, this type of development is initiated and funded by its residents, and is usually characterised by an agreement to share certain facilities such as a laundry area or rooftop solar array.

Check out these Australian projects adapting the baugruppe philosophy to an Australian market, sharing ideologies of social responsibility, shared housing, shared amenities, density, and sustainable development: Nightingale, The CommonsGen Y Step House and Christie Walk .

One of the biggest challenges for projects like this is finding a legal framework that works for all the participants. We'd love to see something like this in Canberra... and better still, be involved in its design!

Site sketch by Jeremy Wells.

Site sketch by Jeremy Wells.