The Fuggerei in Augsburg, Germany, the oldest social housing complex in the world, celebrates the 500th anniversary with international top-class guests
Fuggerei NEXT500 anniversary pavilion will display pioneering architecture and serve as an inspirational model for the unique “Fuggerei Code” (providing homes for those in need since 1521)
Launch of the NEXT500 initiative to inspire the foundation of new versions of the Fuggerei all over the world, starting in Lithuania and Sierra Leone
The Fugger family are delighted to announce that the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen and UNIDO General Secretary, Gerd Müller will open the new “Fuggerei NEXT500 Pavilion”, in front of the City Hall in Augsburg, Germany, as part of a five-week international festival starting on May 6, 2022.
Started as a thought 500 years ago by the German merchant Jakob Fugger, the Fuggerei is still operating in the city of Augsburg, Germany, as a vital home for people in need and for a rent that has not increased since 1521 (around 0.88 Euro today). The Fuggerei’s success story has lost none of its appeal and is even more relevant today. In our increasingly fractured society, there is an ever-growing need for affordable housing, social proximity, stability and inclusion globally.
The President of the EU Commission and the Secretary General of UNIDO will talk about the Fuggerei as a model for new social housing estates in the world
The festival will be launched by Ursula von der Leyen, who will speak about the New European Bauhaus movement and how “Fuggerei of the future” was part of the inspiration for this EU initiative. She will also enter into discussions with Rip Rapson, President of the US-based Kresge Foundation (https://kresge.org), the international guest of the opening weekend. The Kresge Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to expanding opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing.
This first summit on the topic of "generating sustainability" will be followed by further summits and special events until June 12, 2022, and will feature Felix Neureuther, Neven Subotic and Jutta Speidel, among others, as donors and with Julian Nida-Rümelin, Wolfgang Ischinger, Franz von Metzler, Sandra Breka and Father Anselm Grün, as further prominent keynote speakers.
At the final summit on June 11, 2022, the central topic of “mastering need” will be discussed internationally with Darren Walker, President of the American Ford Foundation (www.fordfoundation.org), a US-based billion dollar non-profit, international social justice and philanthropic organization.
To address these societal needs and under the brand "NEXT500", the Fugger Family Foundations will culminate their year of celebration with an open invitation to discuss the major and grave social issues of our time and to this end, they have brought together thought leaders and experts from various fields to share their perspectives on how to effectively tackle seven key social challenges facing global society today. These range from social housing to the importance of self-determination, from the value of spirituality to an eco-sustainable lifestyle.
From May until June 2022, together with the Bavarian Minister of State, Christian Bernreiter, Lord Mayor Eva Weber and international guests, the 16th generation of the Fugger family will be delighted to see an inspirational anniversary pavilion constructed in the heart of the city of Augsburg, as the highlight and centerpiece of the 500th anniversary of the Fuggerei. And it will be from the NEXT500 pavilion that the findings and ideas for social improvement will be presented to the public.
The chairman of the Fugger Family Senior Council, Alexander Erbgraf Fugger-Babenhausen, explains: "The secret of the Fuggerei, which has existed for 500 years, is being communicated and broadcast to the world, as an exemplar, catalyst and inspiration for the creation of new social housing estates, which can be established individually by new donors and can become new versions of the Fuggerei all over the world - the Fuggerei of the Future ".
The anniversary pavilion will display pioneering architecture and serve as an inspirational model
The Fuggerei NEXT500 pavilion has been designed by the internationally renowned Dutch architects, MVRDV, and will have a novel timber construction, created especially for the 500th anniversary and will be built by construction partner, Züblin Timber, with all the wood for the construction coming from the Fugger Foundation forests. With its pitched roof, green shutters and a front garden, the building will mirror the historic rows of houses of the Fuggerei, all framed within a curved “floating” projection and large window, opening out over the Augsburg City Hall Square. Inside the building, an exhibition with photos by the photographer Daniel Biskup will enable the Fuggerei code to be understood in the context of seven social challenges.
In terms of exhibition content, the "Fuggerei Code" and visions of new Fuggerei of the future will be a prime focus, among other public events centered on the pavilion. In addition, a modular system of timber construction has been developed with MVRDV, which it is hoped will offer inspiration for new Fuggereis of the future - the three visions of new Fuggerei (from Lithuania, Sierra Leone and Augsburg) will be revealed for the first time in the NEXT500 pavilion.
“The NEXT500 Pavilion is an extraordinary wooden building and the final highlight of our anniversary year. A varied program will be offered over a period of five weeks, to which the public is invited. As a foundation, we want to open a new chapter in the history of the Fuggerei together with interested parties. To mark the 500th anniversary of the Fuggerei, we developed an initiative to ensure that the Fuggerei of the future can be replicated worldwide”, adds Alexander Erbgraf Fugger-Babenhausen in conclusion.