House New Work

Diverse, affordable and durable – “WERK: House of New Work” develops as a model project spaces for art and culture, research, production and social affairs in the ‘Kraftwerk Bille’ in Hamburg Hammerbrook.

WERK organizes itself and is intended to be a place that is created and sustained by the participants. This requires local long-term perspectives and reliable structures that can be shaped by all stakeholders.

Since 2015, the ‘HALLO: e.V.’ has been testing in and around the listed ‘Kraftwerk Bille’ – especially through the annual HALLO: Festival – Collaborative uses of space in limited time. With the concern of a permanently public common good-oriented use, the concept ‘WERK: House New Work‘ emerged, which calls for the cooperative takeover of part of the power plant’s building. The new ownership company ‘Kraftwerk Bille Hamburg GmbH’ is not willing to sell, which is why WERK is currently looking for alternative locations together with the Hamburg Mitte district authority.

WERK was selected as a National Urban Development Project in 2021 by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Building and the Homeland. In close cooperation with the district of Hamburg-Mitte and other municipal representatives, the concept is to be further developed into a model project for common good-oriented urban development with national appeal.

As part of a share deal, the shares in the property company Kraftwerk Bille Hamburg GmbH changed hands unexpectedly in 2021 in parallel with the application. Agreements and arrangements reached in years of negotiations with the previous, so-called ‘cultural investor’ MIB Colored Fields GmbH were not continued by the new investors. The new investor group is planning large-scale office uses and a private clinic on the site of the Kraftwerk Bille. In the meantime, the notices of termination have been delivered to almost all users of the Kraftwerk Bille.

The WERK team is working in close cooperation with the Hamburg-Mitte district office to examine alternative locations in the east of Hamburg.

  • Werk actors of urban change workshop (Foto: Laura Leglise)

  • WERK actors of urban change workshop (Foto: Laura Leglise)

  • Werk actors of urban change workshop (Foto: Laura Leglise)

  • WERK actors of urban change workshop (Foto: Laura Leglise)

  • WERK actors of urban change workshop (Foto: Laura Leglise)

  • Werk Workshop mit dem MKG (Foto: Nicolas Doering)

  • Werk Workshop mit dem MKG (Foto: Nicolas Doering)

  • Werk Team

What does public common good-oriented mean for WERK – and how does it work?

About joint ownership and operation forms…

In order to implement and secure the ‘House of New Work’ in the long term, away from commercial exploitation logics, a common form of ownership and operation is required. To this end, ‘HALLO: e.V.’, together with other participants, is planning to found the cooperative WERK eG. The concrete framework conditions are currently being negotiated with the owner, municipal representatives and foundations.

About co-productive planning processes….

In a sustainable participatory planning process, a concept is developed that combines the interests of the already resident with those of the future users. Like the site, the planning process is intended to be openly and diversely co-produced. During the extensive renovation of the listed industrial building, the utilization program is to be concretized and tested in parallel. In different working groups we develop the future and implementation of WERK: building room programs, juggling numbers, playing with rooms or communicating internally and externally – there is something for everyone.

About New Work…

For WERK, ‘new work’ means work that is oriented towards the common good. For example, a solidarity-based rental model can be used to cross-finance shared spaces and activities. Renting means working at the same time! To enable the exchange of different ways of living and working, WERK gathers a mix of creative, social, research, artistic and commercial forms of work. In addition to material resources, intangible goods such as knowledge, experience, and methods circulate in and around WERK and can be shared.

If you want to get involved or get informed, feel free to contact us: werk@hallohallohallo.org