The Free Surfaces


“Well, one provocation that you could make is, if all of this is empty, why don’t we turn this into housing first, before you start building the other one?”


- Freek Persyn, Architect and Professor for Architecture & Urban Transformation


The series of office buildings on the east side of Thurgauerstrasse has evident vacancy problems. The buildings from the 80s and 90s do not seem to be attractive for new offices anymore due not only to the working crisis itself but also to their outdated layout (of spaces and facilities). It is said that an average of 25-30% of the surfaces are now empty, and numbers are constantly growing. A paradigmatic change in the planning of the whole neighborhood/district could be the clue to a repopulation of the buildings, which might hide more qualities than at first sight.