Kinder- und Jugendhaus BOLLE
The German youth welfare association Straßenkinder e.V. has given support to children and youths from all over Germany who live on the streets of Berlin for more than 16 years, helping them to reintegrate into society. Borne from the desire to set up prevention programmes for these young people and actively combat child poverty and educational deprivation, the agency opened the “Kinder- und Jugendhaus BOLLE” (Children’s and Youth House) in spring 2010. Helmed by the Straßenkinder e.V. team, the institution offers a diverse recreational and educational programme designed to ensure equal opportunities and to improve the prospects of socially disadvantaged and uneducated children.
Not long after its opening and setup of the various support services in the BOLLE House, it became clear that the facilities were far from sufficient to cater for all the children and youths aged 5-19 years.
The decision was made to launch the “660m² of Future for Children” project that would add an extension to the existing building so that more children and young people with their families could receive support. The project is now under way and is realised in Berlin’s Marzahn district with the support of the Udo Gründinger Foundation.
Daily construction report
On 18 December 2014, after a successful planning stage and building permit, the first excavator rolled onto the premises at Hohensaatener Straße in Marzahn. Its mission was to locate the district heating network and prospect for groundwater. Before the foundations were laid, a site investigation report needed to be drawn up which involved drilling for samples. This was carried out in spring 2015. As well as the district heating system, the site also had drinking water supply for the existing building and the neighbouring property. This supply pipe was relocated on 9 March 2015. The district heating system as the last medium on the site was removed between 1 April and 28 April 2015.
Securing the site from mid-April 2015 was next, and a very important aspect so as to ensure that the children and youths that came to the BOLLE House every day could continue to play and learn safely throughout the construction phase. The BOLLE team and kids are frequently reminded of the dangers on the construction site. The access road to our premises is often used by the youngsters for inline skating and skateboarding. This had to be restricted during the construction phase. On 28 April 2015 Hohensaatener Straße was packed with trucks delivering construction containers as well as steel reinforcement for the building foundation and the auger piles, while the young folks looked on curiously. Even more exciting for the kids, though, was the crane that transported heavy structural elements onto the site at the end of April.
In the following weeks massive reinforced concrete pillars were poured for the foundation, before the so-called “Berlin type pit lining with back anchoring” was put in place as a supporting wall around the construction pit, which was subsequently excavated from 11 May 2015 using heavy equipment. Next to the installation of the beams and steel bracing, a major construction phase involved the casting of the foundation slab, which was completed in June. Once the basement walls were up, the basement ceiling was put in place, and the kids and youngsters helped after the summer holidays add one floor at a time. The roof was cast in early September, which was marked on 25 September 2015 with a small topping-out ceremony attended by the young folks. Many of the kids and their families also used the occasion to visit the premises on a sunny September day to check out the progress made and to help celebrate this momentous building phase. Guests, big and small, were welcomed by Eckhard Baumann, who gave a little speech.
The thermal insulation and rough-in were installed in late autumn, when the internal plastering began. The screed flooring in the various rooms was laid just before Christmas, while the exterior work is also steadily taking shape.
Christmas this year will still be celebrated in the old section of our Children’s and Youth House, and preparations for it are in full swing. But everyone is already looking forward to using the big rumpus room in our new building next year. The “660m² of Future for Children” project is an important way forward for the BOLLE kids and youngsters. The layout not only provides for more rooms for each age group, but also includes several creative and educational facilities for more focused learning. And next to many other rooms, there’s also the urgently needed parent support room.
We are hoping to move into the new extension by spring 2016. This project would not have been possible without the kind support of the Udo Grüninger Foundation. A big THANK YOU for this from all our kids and youngsters.