Multi-generation house wanted: with folding balcony, garden for all and community room

Can a stand be like a small construction site? We asked ourselves this question and then got started! Dresden Neighbourhoods kicked off the Neustädter Frühling on the Hauptstraße.

Text: Falk Goernert · Photos: Yvonn Spauschus, John Wegbahn

Our material distribution point is stocked with various cardboard formats and prefabricated cardboard elements; green roofs in the form of toy palms are available; stair modules are waiting to be installed or added… For the façade design, there is a wide range of colour options – from restrained grey to offensively pink, everything is permitted. Our construction tent combines planning with construction. Without helmets and safety shoes, we welcome the builders and see that architecture has a lot to do with communication!

Neustädter Frühling - Dresdner Nachbarschaften © Y. Spauschus

Alessia is about to come to the construction site. She has been living in Dresden for a few years in a rented house in an old building. Unfortunately, the garden behind the house is hardly usable, as it is mainly used as a storage area for the many bicycles of the various residents. Alessia proclaims the land of fantasy and understands our building project as a utopia in progress – “I don’t know if it’s realistic” – and smiles. At the end of her construction work, there is a two-storey building: on the ground floor, a flat for older people with direct access to the garden; above it, a flat with a fold-out balcony – at the same time as a shade, weather protection and “sky opener” for the flat below. The community room in the cube opposite rounds off their version of a dream house.

Meanwhile, Maria is building a kind of residential tower with a lift and roof terrace. She has stacked three cardboard boxes on top of each other and is now working on the right adhesive joints. Large windows structure the façade and indicate that, in addition to light, she is concerned with the (reciprocal) relationship between inside and outside. In her village, direct contact with each other is not very pronounced… Throughout the afternoon, children sit next to adults who incorporate thoughts of play and fantasy into the design of the house in a very concrete way: There is a swing on the upper floor, which is to remain parent-free; a climbing pole instead of the stairs or a pink-lit façade.

Neustädter Frühling - Dresdner Nachbarschaften © J. Wegbahn

So: Which house do I want?

And the voices resound across our pavilion and what they all have in common is the realisation that housing and living in a (self-)designed environment and happiness interact.

Dresdner Nachbarschaften – sichtbar, vernetzt, engagiert!

Neighbourhoods are everywhere – we are right in the middle of it. With district walks, conversations in the green, creative workshops, exhibitions and much more.

Supported by

The project is funded by the State Ministry for Social Affairs and Social Cohesion. This measure is co-financed with tax funds on the basis of the budget passed by the Saxon state parliament within the framework of the state programme Integrative Maßnahmen.