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13. Museum-Appartment for Coop’s Guests

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Coop Name: GeWoSued Genossenschaftliches Wohnen Berlin-Sued eG N° of Employees: 38
City: Berlin N° of Members: 3500
Country: Germany Year of formation: 1919
Website: http://www.gewosued.de
About this coop:

GeWoSued is a housing-cooperative owning about 2.600 appartments and family homes at twelve locations in the North, East and South of Berlin. The cooperative was founded in 1919. GeWoSued offers housing at moderate costs for all ages and lifestyles. GeWoSued strives to keep the service charges low by encouraging the dwellers to contact the employees directly. For the employees dwellers are not tenants but users. GeWoSued is anxious to lower the carbon footprint of all its housing units by thermal insulation and combinations of decentral heat and power plants with photovoltaics. As some of its older buildings are listed as monuments of the cooperative housing movement in the early 20th century, GeWoSued strives to preserve the traditional building techniques and to develop them further for housing in the 21st century.

The video shows a two-bedroom appartment in the Lindenhof-Gardencity of 1920. GeWoSued chairman Norbert Reinelt explains that having an own bathroom and a garden was a great achievment for carpenters and workers in Berlin of the 1920ies where overcrowded tenement-blocks were normal. Building historian Heinz Schauss detected the original materials and colors. They were reconstructed whereas modern infrastructure was implemented. The original use of the rooms was kept with the large central kitchen and an adjacent bath room which leads directly to the household garden. Self support was vital in the years after the first world war. A cabinet functionned as a cold room for the garden’s products. The large kitchen is previous to the housig reforms in the late twenties that brought the small ergonomically functional kitchens to standard. The museum-appartement can be rented by the cooperative’s members to lodge their guests in a unique historical setting. Here they can experience a deceleration from today’s life.- The 90 years of the GeWoSued history are presented in another video you can watch here: vimeo.com/7450210

Author of this story
Rainer Milzkott
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