UdK Berlin Rundgang 2021

Proposal for the Rummelsburger Bucht

Péter- Kristóf Máthé

Formerly a pre-dominantly industrial area, the Rummelsburg and the neighbouring Stralauer Halbinsel suffered by the massive deindustrialization of the area after 1990. As many ‘empty’ plots of the area, they became used by very different actors. Such ‘wild’ place were a very typical element of East Berlin from the 90s. As West Berlin was in a good already densified during the years it has been an island, the East was partially truly left behind, space that were suddenly out of the reach of any administration were free to be explored and used. The entire area was once home to squatted clubs, camps of homeless people or Wagenplatz subculture, people living on boots etc. The nineties onwards (1995- first Bebauungsplan) the area has been developed, mostly through residential buildings (This is what we can see on both east and south.) Stralauer Halbinsel (South) had 300 inhabitants in 1997, today it has 4700. Commercial development has also been intensifying during the last years, peeking with the 50.000 m2 office building touching the plot from the south.The plot is now under a highly criticised development, the division of the land, the privatisations, the masterplan, the construction permits and the evictions municipality executed by the municipality were all criticised in the different stages. The masterplan was even contested by a neighbourhood initiative collecting 35.000 signatures (See more: buchtfueralle.noblogs.org) to stop the development plan. An alternative masterplan was also made as part of the protest movement, but has been ignored. In February 2020 the homeless camp with around 100 inhabitants was evicted to make space for an aquarium, a tourist attraction that would host exotic animals, while taking the last natural habitat of many others. Today the Bucht is the last habitat of 6 different kinds of bats and many other wild animals close to the Berliner Ring. The goal of my project is to further explore possibilities of building in the Rummelsburger Bucht. Taking a critical position to both the proceeding and the alternative masterplans, I am interested whether a compromise between the heavy pressure to densify - especially housing - and the radical wish to keep the Bucht as it is, a wild landscape of urban periphery is possible. My own experience from being involved in the protest action against the masterplan and the evictions was a starting point, not in the sense that I aim to propose a comprehensive solution, but in understanding why in the first place all these actors moved to the Bucht, and how a dense development could coexist with that potentiality. The project is rather a study than a finished project, it implies a specific attitude towards city-planning and offers material for further negotiations. I made it for those who (to me) understandably oppose any development in the area. Supervision: Dagmar Pelger, Florian Riegler, Gabriele Schultheiß, Jean-Philippe Vassal

The Bucht lays next to the Ostkreuz station, at the junction of the Ringbahn and the lines going to the East. It is on of the largest water surfaces close to the city center.

It is placed right outside the Eastern turn of the Berliner S-Bahn. Before the recently started works the plot was just a left over piece of land with an empty -plain on the south -a remain of a once much larger forest touching the bay -another plain, once part of the forest destroyed before an earlier development project that never happened -two pre-war housing blocks, today in bad conditions but inhabited by tenants (that are struggling against the planned demolition) -a yard of various smaller structures used by a car service and a once squatted techno club -another plain on the eastern side.