Being creative – and turning ideas into reality

Being creative

Being creative – and turning ideas into reality

Being creative (photo)

Can you sow the seeds for creativity in a neighborhood? You can definitely make sure that the environment is as conducive to creativity as possible: Vonovia is creating cultural and artistic spaces in its neighborhoods so that creative minds can actively contribute their wealth of ideas and commitment to breathe new life into the neighborhood.

Roots Through Aesthetics.

Together with the City of Essen cultural authorities, we launched our very first art sponsorship program, “Creativ Lab,” back in 2014, organizing an ideas´ competition to give young artists the chance to showcase their work and projects. Ever since, the winners of the competition have been receiving a scholarship of € 200 a month. At the same time, we provide them with a home without charging them rent or ancillary expenses, allowing them to live and work rent-free. The design ideas that the artists have come up with have already given rise to a large number of concepts for making the neighborhood more attractive.

The “VierViertel” studio in which young creative minds can pursue their passions has since become something of an institution. As a result, we are keen to continue with these artistic traditions in the city’s Eltingviertel district in the future. Last summer, we extended the support program for another two years – securing the future of the “VierViertel” until the summer of 2019.

As well as benefiting the scholarship winners themselves, the program also benefits local residents who can take part in seminars and workshops and seek inspiration from the artists.

Culture Is a Must.

What constitutes quality of life in a neighborhood? The main features include adequate infrastructure including schools, public transport and stores as well as residential buildings that are in a good condition, both in technical terms and with regard to energy efficiency. But cultural facilities are just as important. After all, the things that make a neighborhood unique depend on the distinctive touches that we add to it.

As part of a supraregional sculpture competition in the late summer of 2017, 122 artists submitted their ideas showing how they would render issues relating to social and cultural aspects of neighborhood development in artistic form. A selection committee evaluated all of the submissions and selected 30 artists to submit proposals for a sculpture to be erected in the cities of Essen, Frankfurt and Berlin. The selected winning proposals will be announced in March 2018 and the sculptures are scheduled to have been erected by 2020.

Lena Halbedel and Florian Krohm are creating new furniture using bulk waste in the “VierViertel” studio. (photo)
Lena Halbedel and Florian Krohm are both studying industrial design. Together, they created new furniture using bulk waste in the “VierViertel” studio.
Maren Precht studied product design and works in the “VierViertel” studio for neighborhood development. (photo)
Maren Precht studied product design and works in the “VierViertel” studio for neighborhood development. Her “We are neighbors” initiative develops ideas and projects together with residents of the Eltingviertel district for a stronger community in the form of various workshops and actions.

Street Art Meets Sustainability.

During the war, the Sandkrug bunker in Kiel’s Gaarden district kept shipyard workers safe during air raids. After the Second World War, the four-story building no longer had a purpose. The bunker, which is part of Vonovia’s portfolio, has been covered by a preservation order since 2010. The decades have certainly left their mark on the gray concrete façade. Last summer, this presented a perfect opportunity for street artists to add a splash of color to the gray bunker walls. As part of a project with the motto “Bunte Welt – Colour your life”, they sprayed a huge graffiti scene on the bunker façade.

Under the auspices of Kiel’s mayor, the project was launched by the charity “Bündnis Eine Welt Schleswig-Holstein e. V.” and was realized together with the Gaarden district business agency and Vonovia. The campaign focused on the global objectives of the United Nations for a sustainable future.

In September 2017, the ten artists selected as part of the competition met up in three different neighborhoods in Essen, Frankfurt and Berlin to familiarize themselves with the areas. (photo)
Sculpture competition. In September 2017, the ten artists selected as part of the competition met up in three different neighborhoods in Essen, Frankfurt and Berlin to familiarize themselves with the areas. Workshops were organized to provide them with information on the local history and neighborhood development.
»Sustainability is a concept that is often difficult to comprehend - especially for young people. Art can breathe life into a topic and make it more tangible. That’s why we were happy to take on the challenge and make the bunker available for urban art.« Nils Bartels, Regional Manager Vonovia North
Local residents also had the chance to pick up one of the spray cans and have a go at graffiti. (photo)
Joining in and having a go. Local residents also had the chance to pick up one of the spray cans and have a go at graffiti.
A large festival offering a whole host of different activities was organized to mark the official opening of the art project on July 21. (photo)
Street Art. A large festival offering a whole host of different activities was organized to mark the official opening of the art project on July 21, 2017. Visitors were able to visit a pop-up street art gallery in an empty commercial property owned by Vonovia.

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