Living area: 80m2
Number of rooms: 1 room (and a separate bathroom)
Housing situation: Rental apartment
Use: studio and living space
Monthly rent: 330 € (incl. electricity)
Storeys: On the 1st floor
Room found: September 2013 (in need of renovation)
The room was habitable after almost a year of renovation (rent-free for a few months).
Moving in: May 2015
Landlord: Two brothers B.
Neighbors: Caretaker's apartment (On the same floor), car repair shop (ground floor)
For seven years Mr. U. has been working and living in and around the factory building where his residential studio is located. The old factory, once a large ensemble and the site of the processing of large quantities of vegetable fat, is now only partly standing. From the street it looks run-down, in the recognizable openings of old industrial windows there are provisionally appearing unsuitable windows installed. Through a steel door one enters the staircase, which leads to the second floor through an accumulation of stacked and lined up things, books as well as building materials. The studio is located in the middle of a scene of disorder, projects that have been started and abandoned. In contrast to the surroundings, a bright, renovated room is visible here.
Everything here is self-made: the water pipes, the floor, the meticulously renovated old windows and the access to the riverside through a spiral staircase. The appropriation of the rented, as well as adjacent, areas is done with a lot of effort, but also with a lot of naturalness. Every visit shows changes, nothing seems to be carved in stone, not even walls.
Mr. U. is not actually permitted to live there - the old factory is located in an industrial area. Everything else, too, seems to oppose living here. The long way from the city center, the surrounding industry, the effort it takes to make the former factory habitable, the material costs, the insecurities that such a situation produces. But rules do not seem to be applicable here, neither prohibitions nor obstacles have prevented Mr. U. from appropriating the old, almost dilapidated building piece by piece and thus creating living space where one would not expect to find it, but which thereby leaves him all the more freedom to design it according to his own needs.
(for data protection reasons, all references to the exact location of the factory building have been removed from the text. For the same reasons, the exact source cannot be reproduced here).
"The site of the cooking oil factory extends on both sides of the road and is one of a number of industrial enterprises that have settled here to take advantage of the location: Water acce…Continue reading...
For seven years Mr. U. has been working and living in and around the factory building where his residential studio is located. The old factory, once a large ensemble and the site of the processing of large quantities of vegetable fat, is now only partly standing. From the street it looks run-down, in the recognizable openings of old industrial windows there are provisionally ap…Continue reading...
"Anyone who painstakingly renovates something dilapidated is driven by fantasies that are stronger than any reality. All good reasons for what is necessary, practical and economical fade away or are subordinated to the decision to invest infinite effort " (Selle 1993: 25f).
Mr. U. came to the room that is now used as…Continue reading...