Soziokulturelles Zentrum – Community Centre

  • Investor (key institution): Socially Integrative City programme
  • Contact person: Maren Kersten,
  • Year of implementation: 2000
  • Implementation venue

  • Country: Germany
  • Region: Brandenburg
  • Town: Cottbus
  • Size of area: 65000 m2
  • Impact: municipal

    Total costs: 1125500 EUR

    Source per every institution

    • national: Information not found EUR
    • regional: Information not found EUR

    Important stakeholders concerned - names of the institutions

    • national: Socially Integrative City programme, Programme‚Arbeit statt Sozialhilfe, Programme Städtebauliche Weiterentwicklung großer Neubaugebiete
    • regional: Socially Integrative City programme; Municipality of Cottbus
    1. Improved provision of local cultural and social events.

      In 1999 a household survey was carried out in the quarter Sachsendorf-Madlow by the housing association GWC and the municipality of Cottbus. There, inhabitants of the district Sachsendorf-Madlow were able to suggest ideas about what to do with a vacant kindergarten building. Most of the inhabitants suggested the idea to transform the building into a meeting place for local people. After the survey, a one year planning process was carried out where architects, local NGO’s, inhabitants and local authorities discussed the idea to establish a socio-cultural community centre. From 2000 to 2005 the building was converted and redeveloped. Since 2005 the building offers enough space for various cultural and social events. A lot of associations, e.g. the Joint Welfare Commission, Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), are now located within the building and apart from those institutions other initiatives, e.g. gymnastics group or painting club, utilize the rooms.

    2. Improved condition & quality of the public space between the blocks of flats.

      The Northern part of the former kindergarten building was demolished to create more public spaces and a green area in the quarter around Turower Straße (Turower street). The former demolition site was transformed into an attractive outside area, so that events can be hold similarly inside and outside of the building. From the outside area, the community centre is barrier-free accessibly, so that disabled or elderly people are also able to join events easily.

    3. Improved attractiveness of the architecture of the socialist buildings.
    4. Identified new functions for structures from the era of socialism in 1945 - 1989).

      A former kindergarten, which lay vacant until 1997, was transformed into a community centre. Three main actions were implemented with regard to the conversion of the building: Conversion of south wing, removal of the north wing and enhancement of the outdoor facilities.


    Cottbus was economically strong during the era of the GDR because of its coal deposits. Sachsendorf-Madlow is a housing estate which was established between 1950 and 1990 to cover the high demand for housing opportunities. During that time 42,000 new apartments were built. Between 1993 and 2000 the population began to shrink extremely and in 2000 around 60% of the inhabitants were moved away. The image of the housing estate was extremely negative and with the beginning of the 21st century large regeneration activities were implemented to enhance the quality of live in the district and to stop social segregation. The regeneration activities focused mainly on the improvement of the green spaces and the creation of a centre. Apart from that more than 1,000 apartments were demolished.

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