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Ulme 35 - busy
A visit to Ulme 35 in June 2016 by the local mayor, R. Naumann © B.Arndt

A beautiful old Berlin-Charlottenburg villa (formerly the Westend Sanatorium for the Mentally Ill at Ulmenallee 35) had been standing empty for 15 years. It was built in 1887 in the style of a French country home and is situated in the middle of a small park. The public rooms on the raised ground floor -- the former billiard room (which is now the library), the music lounge (now the cafe), the lecture hall, and the large conservatory -- provide a perfect meeting place for refugees and local Westend inhabitants (and everybody else).

Westend in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf is home to some of Berlin’s most beautiful villas. Over the past few years, several refugee centers have been set up here. As of the winter 2015, 3,500 adults with their children and 300 unaccompanied minors were living here in Westend, where they were helped and supported by local volunteers. Today, over 400 refugees live in two buildings belonging to the former Charité Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Eschenallee 3, just round the corner from the Ulme35. Four other buildings on the same property are still empty.

The “InterK(ult)urAnstalten Westend e.V.“ is a non-profit association formed by members of the initiative Willkommen im Westend(Welcome to Westend). With the support of the Berlin Senate’s Atelierprogramm (studio programme), we want to breathe new life into this historic sanatorium.