Semantically Reloading

SR-Balcony Tuning is a research project regarding the interface between private and public space in semantically worn out city quarters. The projects: Balcony Advice, Wedding Balcony, Sport on the Balcony (Plattenman) and Balcony-Tour with Balkony-Guide was carried out during the "Hotel-Neustadt" theater festival in Halle-Neustadt, Germany, October 2003.

New Town

"(...) we do not found our cities for generations anymore. Nevertheless, I had hoped to build a city, which does not only provide mere housing for more than it's two or three generations,- a city which is more than just built room to place their tables or their beds. And just think, I saw myself as pensioner walking through my city and drinking mokka on this balcony on sundays...." Brigitte Reimann: Franziska Linkerhand

The New Town of Halle-Neustadt is worn out, because it's original idea does not work anymore. Instead of the "economy of the collective" of the former socialist urban housing, it is the individual of today which needs to make use of the city. The balconies of the "Plattenbauten" are the interface between the private and the public space and are our starting-point for the semantic reloading of Halle-Neustadt.

SR-Balcony Advice

Balcony-Tuning was not restricted to the hotel but extended to cover the whole of Halle-Neustadt. As in the case of furniture-tuning, most of our work involved the provision of advice. We carried out over 100 balcony advices with residents of the locality, dealing with light concepts, cats, swimming pools and folding tables, box seats and sun blinds, forbidden nails in renovated houses that interfered with the heat insulation, and terraces on the ground floor. The advice-giving process, in some cases, ended in a financial schedule, a detailed plan and a parts list for the building market. In other cases, a chat was sufficient to clarify problems.

Wedding Balcony /Balcony-advise for a couple: This project was constructed straight away and the couple could get married on the balcony during the festival.

Sport on the Balcony (Plattenman)

One balcony became the Triathlon Balcony, on which 23 enthusiastic competitors took part in the 1st international "Plattenbau Man/Women" competition. The first three received their awards on the victory balcony.


In addition, we offered a balcony tour through Halle-Neustadt, past examples of tuned balconies of the residents such as the "Balcony-Bar", where there were refreshments for everyone, the "Balcony-Gallery", on which a women showed her photographs from Halle, the "Security-Balcony", where a man protected his washing against theft with a grid of bars from a sugar factory, and the »Animal-friendly Balcony«, with a self-constructed cat staircase between the balcony and the street. All these examples show a potential that every balcony has. Within the permitted limits, they offer many possibilities of action between public and private space. They can be used to one's own benefit, for recreation, as a garden, as a shop, as a bar, as a gallery, as a playground or for fitness training or keeping animals. By discussing the problems of the inhabitants and the possibilities and restrictions of personal design for their balconies, we established contacts with the building company. They allowed us to use the balcony of an empty apartment to establish the balcony-bar.

SR-Balcony Tuning

is a project by Peanutz Architekten. It was carried out during the "Hotel-Neustadt" festival in Halle, Germany, in Summer 2003. "Hotel- Neustadt" was a temporary hotel in an otherwise empty "Plattenbauten" (building made of prefabricated concrete panels built in the former GDR at low cost) in Halle Neustadt. With the assistance of Johanna Moser, Cornelia Schluricke, Reinder Bakker, R.Oskar Wittich and Mike Ronz.