Guerilla Architects
A committed approach
Sofia, BU; Berlin and Kiel, DE

Guerilla Architects, based between Sofia, Berlin, and Kiel, is an international collective of architects and focus their work on the forgotten and unused resources of our cities. Their work overlaps with socially-engaged art projects in its interest in dialogue, collaboration and direct work with the community, often requiring minimal invasive interventions in order to give new meaning to former invisible spaces.

 

Tackling the grey areas of the cities

In Summer 2012, we squatted in an old Victorian warehouse which had been empty for over 25 years. We wanted to highlight the unused potentials of the countless number of vacancies in a city that had and still has outrageous issues with real estate speculation and homelessness. Our collective was founded out of the premise to defend ourselves in court. This time changed our lives and especially our perspective on architecture and urbanism. We did not want to work in a regular practice anymore and established our collective as an exchange platform to further develop projects about the political, legal, architectural and urban grey areas of cities. 

 

A constant search for perfect communication

Working as a non-conventional architectural practice also means trying to define boundaries between private life and work. We don't have a normal week at the office, not even a normal day, our routine constantly changes with our projects. We use - and abuse - our many communication platforms, Threema, Skype, Slack... we have been looking for the perfect communication tool for the last 7 years! Working on our own projects makes the difference in accepting an almost continuous working flow.

 

Looking for innovation through problems 

At the time we finished university we needed a space where we could meet and work. But a typical office or even a co-working space wouldn't suit our needs as well as economical possibilities. We transformed a problem into an opportunity. We studied the laws and regulations for the use of open spaces in Germany, and decided to build our office in a caravan: you can use parking spaces for free – even though only for two weeks. The way we work is eventually led by the idea to develop projects on site. Our practice doesn't have hierarchies but a division of responsibilities, which also means that every decision and projects will be discussed and agreed or rejected by all. This is sometimes an exhausting operation, but it is the only way to make our small democracy work.

 

Facing the lack of public funds

From the very beginning we wanted to develop artistic socio-political projects. The biggest barrier is the lack of multi disciplinary funding programs for the kind of projects we are interested in. The funding system for education is very well established in the different districts of Berlin, that's why we regularly develop and lead workshops for schools and institutions. "Teaching" is not the field we originally planned to work on, but for the activist and political part of our work it is difficult to get public funds. These workshops help us to support the artistic projects of our practice.

GuerillaArchitects Recamp Jana Tost Silvia Gioberti

Photography Jana Tost

GuerillaArchitects HiddenBorough 2 Silvia Gioberti

GuerillaArchitects HiddenBorough 1 Silvia Gioberti

GuerillaArchitectsbastian07 Silvia Gioberti

Photography Courtesy of Guerilla Architects






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