by Wes J C Stone
‘Neues Berlin’ is a project that directly tackles the affects of gentrification and globalisation on the most vulnerable members of society. In Berlin this is the Turkish community that are slowly being displaced by tourism and a burgeoning tech industry. Many of the residents do not have the skills or the money to adapt to the changes occurring in their neighbourhoods and as overseas investment pours in, their homes are being sold off to property speculators and they can no longer pay their rents. Through a reintroduction of productive, craft industries to Kreuzberg, ‘Neues Berlin’ provides work in the textile industry that is meaningful, culturally expressive, and lucrative in a neighbourhood where work is not guaranteed, and rents are rising quickly. Floating above a new wetland landscape, ‘Neues Berlin’ features all aspects of textile production from the development of new natural dyes, to the hand weaving of carpets and tapestries using heritage techniques. The project is the first building in the proposed industrial quarter and is the first step towards a community centred and resilient Berlin.