0238 HouseEurope! ×

HouseEurope! is a citizens’ initiative for an EU-legislation that boosts the renovation of existing buildings and stop their demolition driven by speculation. As an ECI - European Citizens' Initiative, it uses a tool of direct democracy to propose new laws at the European level. If the initiative is successful and gains the support of 1 million European citizens, the EU will be required to implement the proposal, and the EU member states will be obliged to follow.

The initiative began during the works on (0227) Mäusebunker a building set for demolition, which was meant to be replaced by something new. Despite a growing group of supporters involved in its preservation and renovation, the owners' stance was clear, as for them the calculation was simple: the costs of renovation exceeded the value of land and building. This stems from systemic disadvantages: renovation is perceived as riskier, and therefore is always more expensive. Demolition and new construction are perceived as simpler, and therefore always cheaper. Architectural arguments – from social to ecological – carry no weight in this equation. Thus, HouseEurope! addresses more than just one building; it tackles a systemic issue, requiring legislative change to recognize the value of existing buildings and to factor in the hidden costs of demolition and new construction.

HouseEurope! is an active attempt towards that change, bringing together the experience and expertise of people and projects to take the next step by proposing legislation on a European level, in order to contribute to a lasting change in the building sector. Based on a series of projects that span almost ten years of exploring and negotiating the role of legislation and economy in our architecture and practice. From buildings such as (0113) Brunnenstrasse 9, (0131) Antivilla, or (0154) San Gimignano Lichtenberg. To films like (0187) Legislating Architecture, (0199) The Property Drama, or (0213) Architecting after Politics. To publications such as (0199.2) ARCH+ The Property Issue or (0237) ARCH+ Business Architecture, and platforms like (0140) RGB 165/96/36 CMYK 14/40/80/20 or (0222) 2038 – The New Serenity, the German Pavilion at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale.

HouseEurope! is organized by s+ (station.plus, DARCH, ETHZ) in collaboration with numerous partners and a growing team. Visit houseeurope.eu for more information, sign up for the newsletter to stay updated, or join the movement and become a volunteer or supporter of HouseEurope!

Berlin / Zurich
2022 –
station+, DARCH, ETHZ
Arno Brandlhuber, Olaf Grawert, Jonas Janke, Roberta Jurčić, Jolene Lee