Text description provided by the architects. Lindower 22 is one of the first industrial redevelopment projects in the historic working-class district of Wedding in West Berlin and involves the redevelopment of the former Max Hasse Machinen Fabrik, an early 20th-century redbrick industrial complex. With the decline of old industries, it was initially left behind by the regeneration processes following the 1990s, which instead touched the other districts of Berlin.
Despite this with the availability of incredible spaces in terms of architectural quality, in recent years it has attracted increasing numbers of artists, art galleries, and creative ateliers, many of them working together in the same loft spaces in abandoned factories. Today Wedding is considered a very lively, multicultural district and plays a central role in the policies of the city as part of its ambitious urban redevelopment through a culture plan. Lindower 22 is designed to transform over 10,000 square metres of unused spaces into an urban think tank, a space for free thinkers in keeping with Berlin's cultural spirit.
The project involves a series of interventions that began with refitting, using different regeneration strategies, the two most prestigious buildings, restoring and expanding the public housing on the street side, and demolishing the least efficient and less prestigious buildings to construct a new building with various floors and functions.
The philosophical approach to the project depends on the ability of culture, experimentation, and art to restimulate the complex's dormant fabric, building an innovative district where artists, researchers, start-ups, cultural associations, fashion designers, art galleries, and small contemporary artisans can get together in a community and influence and inspire each other, generating a hybrid hub that grows and develops together with the city. The architectural approach is a follow-on from the philosophical one and is based on the idea of respect for a building that has an extraordinary history and quality. This meant two operational concepts: basic and useful.
Basic, for example, the retrofitting strategy adopted on Lindower 22. It means an attempt to use the maximum efficiency and linearity to keep the need to alter existing structures to a minimum: all-new input is "standard", in other words, the simplest possible. Useful, because every element or existing system that still works has been salvaged, adding and modernising only where strictly necessary. As of present, the restoration work on the retained sections of Lindower 22 and the streetside building has been completed.
In the first phase, the buildings of the Cathedral, the Kondo and Kondolin D, were regenerated to house Callie's, an experimental institution for the promotion of art, creativity, and cultural crossing, AP, the sister library of Callie's, the headquarters of Plastique Fantastique and many other creative realities. In the second phase, the Kondolin B buildings will instead be reconstructed and will be used as multitasking spaces (a cinema-theater that also functions as a conference hall), new spaces for art, and for reflection and experimentation on food (coffee, food lab, supermarket, and residences).