The influx of refugees to Berlin in the past years is increasing the demand for housing, while compounding a housing crisis that existed long before — one that is not only quantitative but also qualitative. Architects and urban planners are currently at the front line of the housing crisis and, alongside the wider population of Berlin, are stepping up as social and spatial innovators. While the social structure of the typical Berlin household has changed, current architectural models and government planning policies have not adapted accordingly. SUPERSPACE responds directly to the shortage of affordable, simple, and replicable forms of housing in Germany.
SUPERSPACE is an experimental project tackling the desire for communal living arrangements, with focused experimental thinking for flexible and sustainable units designed for multiple purposes. Guided by professor Dr. Niklas Maak, the international design and architecture collective FAM discussed and designed a series of structures to house up to 20 people. PLANE—SITE and world-renowned design firm ARUP provided guidelines and parameters for context, as well as technical and financial feasibility. Developed with the support of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, and working at the scale of the city, the building and the human, the projects imagine new models for practical and affordable accommodation and integration in Berlin.
SUPERSPACE was first presented at the Habitat III regional meeting in Prague, followed by a workshop week in Berlin and an exhibition at the DAZ, Deutsches Architektur Museum. Currently working on a publication, we are aiming to display built prototypes with a public programming in Berlin.
Members of FAM participating on this project are: Christopher SooHoo, Dana Wu, Elizabeth Pipal, Greg Logan, Giancarlo Montano, Jennifer Saura, Julian Funk, Nancy Nichols and Stephanie Conlan.
The SUPERSPACE proposals test a model for a new architecture of hospitality, consisting of hybrid forms of personal and communal spaces, while promoting new realms of public life that can emerge from domestic architecture. Each prototype is designed to host a broad range of activities that form an integral part of the urban fabric, architecture and community life. A Y-Table Talk opening the exhibition for the design proposals introduced a dialogue between architects, engineers, institutions and the public. Results of the workshop, exhibition and talk engage a conversation about urban experimentation as a means to solve issues of the urban fabric and will be documented and transcribed into a research publication.