Rethinking Social Housing

Every 6 minutes for the past 30 years, Germany has lost a social housing unit. Berlin alone loses 22 units per day. Since 1987, the total inventory of social housing in Germany has sunk from 4 to 1 million, and in Berlin from 340,000 to 100,000. In other words, over 70% of the social housing built between 1950 and 1990 is no longer social.

In tandem with this, between 1990 and 2022, Berlin’s population grew by 417,000 people. The construction of new apartments has failed to keep pace with this population boom, leading to predatory competition between high-income and low-income Berliners. Meanwhile, housing scarcity is not only impacting low earners, but also the so-called “middle class.” While the drastic depletion of affordable housing over the past 30 years is Germany’s most urgent sociopolitical topic, solutions that involve reconceiving the organization of real estate have as yet gone unnoticed.

This is precisely where the “Pioneer” exhibition intervenes. Through diagrams, figures, and tables, zanderroth demonstrates the scale of the housing shortage while at the same time offering a potential solution: by creating mixed use properties on state-owned land, Berlin can meaningfully reduce housing scarcity. The project developed for this purpose, “Pioneer,” demonstrates in detail on 10 different example properties how affordable housing can be achieved in tandem with the necessary infrastructure. “Pioneer” is therefore not only an architectural project, but also a powerful tool for alleviating the housing shortage.

Exhibition: May 26 - July 8, 2023
Opening: May 25, 2023, 7 pm

Gallery talk: July 6th 2023, 7 pm

Jan Friedrich, Bauwelt
Kevin Hönicke, Baustadtrat Lichtenberg
Prof. Dr. Kristin Wellner, TU Berlin
Sascha Zander & Christian Roth, zanderroth

Architektur Galerie Berlin
Karl-Marx-Allee 96
10243 Berlin

Photos Exhibition Design: Jan Bitter, Berlin
Photos Opening: Till Budde, Berlin
Graphic: Siyu Mao, Team Mao