Erfurt, Collective lab

Erfurt, Collective lab

Inclusive development: Town, associations, residents and refugees jointly reactivate a vacant building

Migration has become an important driver of development in Thuringia. In 2016, as part of its ›Arrival StadtLand‹ initiative, the IBA Thüringen put out a call for people, places and ideas throughout Thuringia that view immigration as an opportunity and want to actively shape it.  

The ‘WIR Labor’ in Erfurt is a prime example. In cooperation with the city of Erfurt, the association Plattform e.V. intends to use an empty municipal office building in the direct vicinity of container accommodation for refugees in the north of the city. Refugees and migrants, as well as the residents of Erfurt, are invited to help develop the project as a collective laboratory. The goal is the inclusive and integrative development of a new centre of production and workshop building that, in the spirit of Willkommenskultur, will function as a new district centre developed communally for the community. Its design makes an innovative contribution to the successive redevelopment of buildings according to participative principles and circular material cycles. The project explores the possibilities and limits of self-building, while simultaneously trialling simple, resource-conscious and affordable design approaches.

The ‘WIR Labor’ is not only a test bed for inclusive society, but also a realworld laboratory for the experimental conversion of existing buildings.

At the beginning of March 2021, the IBA Advisory Board recommended project status for the previous IBA candidate. 


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Wir Labor Erfurt
Vollbrachtstraße 12
99086 Erfurt
IBA Project Coordination

Kerstin Faber
Project director
Telefon +49 3643 90088-17