Wriezener Bahnhof, Friedrichshain

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type of use
Klaus Overmeyer
Melanie Humann
Thomas Hauck

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submitted by
Ali Saad
submitted on

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web links

Cargo Camp

Temporary use concept for the Wriezener Bahnhof

time frame: 6 months

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In June 2002 the Studio Urban Catalyst established direct contact to the owner of the area of the Wriezener Bahnhof, in order to discuss possibilities of temporary use. After initial hesitation, the daughter-company of the German railways DB Imm was persuaded to agree to a temporary use of a part of the former railway land.  On the basis of the potential report, studio Urban Catalyst developed a concept for a cultural use of the area for a possible duration of six months. The basic idea of the concept is the reuse of approximately 20 disused goods carriages on site in order to provide for a basic infrastructure for temporary users, which would be open to various individuals and groups such as artists, theatre, new media and architecture groups, youths (card games, street ball, etc.), possible railway fans and gastronomy. The carriages are positioned in two rows along a central delivery road and form a spatial cluster, which  allows for a high programme flexibility. 

Studio UC and DBImm agreed to subscribe users via the help of an open competition of use concepts. Studio UC will develop a curatorial concept on the basis of these proposals. In order to co-ordinate and manage Cargo Camp a new management agency will be formed, which will be financed through contributions by the DBImm, sponsoring and through public subsidy programmes. As an initial attractor, the existing rows of street lighting will be re-activated for a short period of time. This „lighting installation“ will be visible from passing trains and nearby roads and serves to re-anchor the site within the public consciousness of the citizens of Berlin. It was agreed that Cargo Camp will need a shared marketing and image concept in order to re-establish the place as a whole.
In retrospect, the negociation period can be phased into the following steps:

During a first meeting, several scenarios for the temporary use of the site were presented. Proposals that combined the specific qualities (disused railway structures) with the programmatic content of the proposal convinced the railways to make available over 5000 square metres of the area for temporary use. During the following meetings a more precise programmatic concept was developed, several possible sites were proposed and a frist costing was drafted.

Several visits to the site, together with representatives of the owner, were carried out in order to gain an overview of possible sites and clarify open questions. In order to clarify very specific details of lighting, tracks etc. technical assistants and advisors, as well as special units within the DBImm and the DB-Netz were invited to the meeting.

An intensive working period made apparent, that the DBImm has to provide a substantial budget for rent, the moving of the waggons and the installation of a new track section. The DBImm is interested in a commercially viable process, which includes a possible subcontracting to an experienced venue organiser. In order to ensure a transparent and open process of election, studio UC presents a mixed and flexible use concepts that includes (for the most part) cultural institutions (Volksbühne, Podewil, etc.) and non-established users.

Studio UC will see through most stages between now and realisation of our project. Our task will be to ensure that the space will be taken up by a wide variety of cultural programmes.
Within the particular stages of the  project development process Studio UC takes different roles of action. Firstly the TU Berlin team acted as initiator of the project and developed first concepts. Having convinced the owner, studio uc more and more became a mediator between different stakeholders such as the owner, potential  users and the municipality. Our task will be to ensure that the space will be used for a wide variety of cultural programmes. Still unclear is the question who will run the project and in how far studio uc will be involved.

cargo camp


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