Remember the Friends’ House we won? Well, we’re not getting it after all...


Joachim and our architect Leonore paid a visit to the prefab manufacturers just south of Berlin, where the building from the documenta exhibition in Kassel had been stored temporarily, to clarify in person the details of getting the house set up. Great was their astonishment when they were told: “At the end of the exhibition, we were unfortunately unable to dismantle the building as we would have liked, but instead were obliged to use a chainsaw to cut it into pieces of a transportable size.” The significance of this statement became clear when we saw the huge pile of wood stored under plastic sheeting in the yard. Of course we could make out what were presumably individual sections of the building. But most of it looked more like a pile of construction timber and firewood. And THAT supposedly was once our Friends’ House?
Actually we weren’t all that shocked, because the representative of the company who had built the original Friends’ House had made it very clear in the conversation beforehand: “We stand by our word and will manufacture a completely new building entirely to your plans and erect it in Hainichen!”

Just imagine: YWAM Hainichen is being given not a used, converted exhibition building with a flat roof, but a brand new, specially constructed, complete house with a hip roof and full thermal insulation. And as a gift! It goes without saying we were astonished at the company’s great generosity.

Well, things sometime turn out differently from what you expected, but not always worse... God loves surprises!
We haven’t made many changes to our interior plans. We’ve kept the five bedrooms, living room, kitchen/diner and barrier-free sanitary facilities. The heating is a big challenge, though. Building regulations prevent us from heating the Friends’ House with gas. So we have decided to lay a community heating pipeline from the main building (approx. 80m), where we will soon have an eco-friendly pellet heating system that will also supply heat to the planned new kindergarten building (currently housed in one of the outbuildings).

Now things are starting  to move very quickly. The prefab manufacturer, GreenBuilding Production GmbH, is ready to get going and would ideally like to erect the building in early December. Before then, however, our planning application must have been approved and a pretty complicated floor slab laid. The suspense is mounting...

Another 17,600 EUR to reach the first milestone

To date we have managed to collect about 12,400 euros for the Friends’ House. But we need 30,000 euros before we can put up the building: in other words, we need another 17,600 euros by the end of November for this phase of construction. May we invite you to participate in the first phase of our gift? We hope to be able to cover all construction costs for the Friends’ House from donations and avoid having to take out a loan.

So watch this space – surprises appear to be part and parcel of the Friends’ House project...
By the way, you can keep track of the total amount collected so far at www.jmem-hainichen.de/freundehaus.

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