Shelter from a Former American Camp

Participatory Student Building Project, Mannheim

Architects: Atelier U20
Text: György Szegő
Photos: Yannick Wegner

Due to bureaucratic procedures, refugees arriving in Germany are condemned to sustain a long period of passiveness. In the refugee camp on the location of the former American Spinelli Barracks in Mannheim, they are well provided with the bare essentials, but the immediate surroundings are quite desolate and lack quality of common spaces. In this situation, the project „Build Together – Learn Together“ came into being. 18 students of the Faculty of Architecture at TU Kaiserslautern built a community centre together with 25 refugees. The refugees were given the opportunity to actively shape their environment and acquire new skills, which will be useful, even if they cannot stay in Germany on a permanent basis. The students were able to make an active and positive contribution to the refugee crisis. As future architects they contribute expertise that may appear luxurious in a refugee camp at first glance, but is even more important upon closer inspection: the creation of pleasant places and high-quality architecture.

Architecture: Atelier U20, a TU Kaiserslautern
Professors: Stefan Krötsch, Dr. Jürgen Graf, Andreas Kretzer
Research assistants : Sebastian Rauch, Christian Weisgerber
Students: Johannes Ackermann, Soheyl Aslani, Sandra Gressung, Sonja Hiegle, Annika Koch, Alina Kohl, Tobias Kohlstruck, Bei Liu, Konrad Peter, Viktor Poteschkin, Sascha Ritschel, Arved Sartorius, Manuel Scheib, Nicolas Treitz, Tobias Vogel, Lukas Weber, Lu Yuan, Ying Zhang