The special issue was accompanied by the postcard Option Lots (2010). Option Lots is an ongoing research project by the Berlin based architecture studio Brandlhuber + Emde, Schneider.

It focuses on a special form of decentralized architectural monuments of the socialist postmodern era in Berlin: Those social housing projects that were built within the city‘s existing urban structure. The so-called ‘Plattenbauten’ were generally aligned toward the sun and designed as a straight geometrical system into post war Berlin. But outside those planned city parts, architectural anomalies happened, and with them, their own magical beauty—‘time capsules’ as Brandlhuber + Emde, Schneider calls them: The gap that occurs when a static construction of prefabricated slabs encounters a grown city structure. In the past, these undesigned trenches were covered by the socialist government, as part of a political program that attempts to conceal the systems error. Today, Option Lots researches these in-between-spaces and reformulates their function: The gaps can be read as a space of possibility, a sign for a requested flexibility of a system, which sometimes needs to follow the grown structures of a city and the people living in it. It is not a defective, lost space, but an option of the void, which is to be taken over—to be retaken even. 

Copyright image © 2010 Arno Brandlhuber.