Raumlabor Berlin is a group led by 8 architects who have created a collaborative & participatory work structure that intersects with architecture, urbanism, art and urban interventions. Their work is aimed primarily at urban renewal: the city understood not as a fact but as a process.
Its main purpose is addressed to difficult urban places; places that are abandoned or in transition containing any relevance to processes of urban change. These places are the site for experimentation as they believe that they have untapped potential for it to attempt to activate or open new perspectives for alternative usage of patterns, collective ideals, urban diversity and difference.
For their projects, interdisciplinary teams of experts work together with residents of the city because they believe that they are also specialists who provide valuable information about the history, fears, desires, existential needs and deficits, which exist as an invisible network of a place or situation. That creates an active partnerships between local and external experts allowing them to discover new areas of action and opening new fields of experimentation, which collectively test and inspect possibilities.
Glass bottles, metal cans and plastic, paper, cardboard, etc. were used for the construction. Their intention was to implement these material into both structural and ornamental manner, showing that playing with different types of recycled materials is an interesting way to transform and create reused garbage into art. It is noteworthy that this structure was built in a 90% recycled material, reducing the cost of the work by nearly half in relation to a traditional house.
Over one hundred glass bottles were placed creating a wall and a translucent envelope, which at the same time insulates the outside allowing the light to penetrate into a diffuse manner. The bottles were joined to each other with a concrete mixture.
The master bedroom, located on the rear façade of the house was built with used car doors, together with other recycled materials, rough concrete walls and timbered panels, making a “collage” which emphasizes the architectural discourse related emergency.
For security reasons, beams, pillars and columns were not recycled.
The building’s architectural program consists of a bedroom, a kitchen and a workshop. The plan ignores a living room, however a large workshop is located in the centre which, by their nature, can have multiple uses.
With this project, its creators make clear how waste materials and building methods are used in the so-called emergency architecture, offering a potential infinite artistic and architectural solutions as well as new parameters of relationship between the individual, art, architecture and the environment.