Stealth Emergency Housing

Changing

Stealth Notwohnhaus Wiesbaden 02

‘Stealth’ is the term for technology that makes something invisible to the enemy. Making it hard to find your position, suppressing your own transmissions, living secretly, using your camouflage capabilities is not only daily practice in the military – in future this could also be the only way for homeless people to survive in Germany.

The temptation to look away, to be harsh, is great: misery has increased in Germany. Living ‘precariously’ is almost the norm already. Homeless people are hit hardest: they don’t even have a roof over their heads. Pressure on the homeless has been growing since the middle of the 1990s. New ‘guidelines for handling persons of no fixed abode’ have been issued: today they are already being banished to places where nobody is supposed to see them. German cities are being cleaned up in order to be able to compete internationally. City marketing doesn’t like pitiful figures.


When politics don’t work the people take things into their own hands. In 2001 five young men tortured the homeless man Dieter Manzke to death in Brandenburg because they ‘felt bothered by him’. In 2002 police in Stralsund abandoned an extremely drunk homeless man at the edge of the inner city in icy temperatures. He died. Approximately one third of German citizens do not wish to see homeless people begging in pedestrian districts. But according to the federal office for statistics almost one in six people in Germany lives under the threat of poverty himself or herself.

The architecture firm Christ.Christ in Wiesbaden has been involved in the construction of living units for the homeless since the late 1990s. ‘Building for rich people is not enough’, explains Roger Christ, and recognises a ‘structural force against the homeless’ in our society.

The metal ‘stealth emergency house’, developed by Christ.Christ, is an art project. The architect sees it as a ‘discussion machine’ in times of a raging economic crisis. The emergency house looks like a weapon but represents a contribution to dialogue. It is intended to give protection to the homeless. It is a place where they can withdraw in their fragile lives. It is designed to give physical security – in times that are getting harder.

  • Location
    Changing
  • Year
    2014
  • Typology
    Design / Object
  • Status
    Built
  • Completion
    08 I 2014
  • Team
    Roger Christ I Julia Christ I Wolfram Emmert
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