Joint building ventures are a good innovation. A number of occupants band together to collectively acquire property to execute a design according to their common interests. These interests can vary widely. Most joint building ventures simply want good-quality and affordable housing. Others want to jointly establish commercial and creative areas. Our task was to design a building for a joint building venture composed of various social-democratic institutions, their roots stretching back over decades, indeed in part over centuries.
How to start? By talking. By talking a lot: with the one institution and then with another one, and then with a third, and then back to the beginning again. One meets wonderful people and realizes that they all want the same thing: a common place that emanates a spirit of solidarity and collectivism. How to find such a place? By searching. We jointly explored some 35 locations in Dresden before it became evident that the place had to come into being on Devrientstraße, behind the workshops of the „Semperoper“. Now it’s there, and it’s finished – the Herbert-Wehner-Haus. From its architecture you can see that it has come and has come to stay. And that’s what we wished the wonderful people who have an effect in this building – may the spirit of solidarity and collectivism appear, and may it remain forever!