Participatory Student Building Project Spinelli Mannheim
Due to bureaucratic procedures, refugees arriving in Germany are condemned to sustain a long period of passiveness. At the refugee camp on the area of the former American Spinelli Barracks in Mannheim they are well provided with the bare essentials but the immediate area is quite desolate and lacking of quality common spaces. This is when the Spinelli project came into being. 18 students from the Department of Architecture at the University of Kaiserslautern built a community centre together with 25 refugees and local building companies. The residents at the preliminary reception centre had the opportunity to actively shape their environment and create a quality place for common or individual use. The refugees improved their knowledge of the German language, experienced conditions and working standards in Germany and acquired new skills which will be useful even if they can’t stay in Germany on a permanent basis. The architecture students took the opportunity to make an active and positive contribution to the refugee crisis. They were able to have their own design executed for the rst time. As expectant architects they contribute expertise that may appear luxurious in a refugee camp in the rst place but upon closer inspection are even more important: creating pleasant places and high-quality architecture. They are learning to compare their ideas with very concrete necessities and to reflect their abstract planning in the implementation. Digital drawings materialized on the building site within weeks.