The manor has a comparable small annex which remains from the original Baroque building. Its current roof construction had been erected in the first half of the 20th century, but it was badly designed and got broken in the meantime. Originally, it was planned to replace only the broken parts of the construction, but when opening the ceiling it became obvious that the beams had been made from cottonwood which is not appropriate material for roof construction. Therefore a new roof construction will be erected which follows the shape of the original one. Finally, the construction will be reroofed. The works will be lead by a master of carpentry who has additional education as “Restorer in Handicraft”. Within the framework of the educational part other historic roof constructions in the village and the region – in the manor house itself, the village church and in the town nearby – will be studied and discussed.
shared rooms with beds, warm shower, toilets
The meals will be prepared together as they are part of the community life, what means that every participant will be responsible for the meal at least once during its stay. So it would be very nice if the participants could bring typical recipes from home in order to introduce each other to the preparation of food from all over the world.
Gantikow Manor is situated hundred kilometres north of Berlin. The manor is surrounded by a nice village with a medieval church and a lake. The building is a picturing example of a former baroque building which has been changed in the late 19th century in neo-baroque style. Over centuries, the houses belonged to the Earls von Platen, which sold it in 1872 to a civil family which started soon, in 1877, with the modernisation of the house and kept it in their ownership till 1945. After World War II, the house was first used as a refugee shelter and after that the community used the house as a village centre, hosting the community office, the local store, the school, the kindergarten, the doctor’s room, the kitchen of the agricultural cooperative and several apartments. Since around ten years it is used as a seminar house, mainly by non-profit organisations, youth initiatives and universities. The house is surrounded by a beautiful garden with old trees which originally reached up to the lake.
The camp places are mostly situated in small villages in rural areas, so the participants should not expect busy places and normal city activities for the leisure time during the working days. Small trips in walking distance are possible in the afternoon. On the weekends it is possible to organise an excursion to nearby cities or to have other leisure activities.
The history of Open Houses Network dates back to the mid-1980s, when a group of young people started to restore village churches in East Germany in voluntary work to protect them from decay. The engagement for these buildings united people who enjoyed the freedom these activities provided and who filled these rooms with life again in ways which by far exceed the craftsmen’s work done – through exhibitions, concerts, making music together or just sitting by the camp fire.
Meanwhile, rooms free of political and ideological pressure are no longer urgently required; however, places have become rare where people can meet without commercial pressure, free of bureaucracy and institutionalism, free of nepotism and the exclusion which it produces. What should be easy – to go somewhere in order to meet people and to work together – has become difficult. The tightrope walk between, on the one hand, public activities in a monetary and functional sense, and the retreat into private life on the other, is very difficult, and it requires a lot of power and permanent efforts to tackle red tape and financial restrictions.
Free spaces are less and less understood as common property, and are permanently being cut back. The idea of public property seems to have gone out of fashion, and places of common responsible work have become rare.
Open Houses Network tries to create and protect such spaces. In this process, we do not want to be the do-ers, but be people who have a vision, who want to initiate something, but who also are aware of depending on the co-operation of others. We understand our projects and events as offers – as offers to create space for commitment, for changes, for meetings.
Motivation letter related to the project
and CV + photo required