Until October 2016, the land bordering the banks of the Spreenext to the highly touristic area around Kreuzberg’s Oberbaumbrücke, was a surprisingly ‚undeveloped‘ area. Over the decades, the site was the focus of urban players with interests and visions of all kinds – materialised either as temporary appropriations (parties, camping, living, murals and their overpainting), unrealised plans (shopping mall, BMW Guggenheim Lab, lofts with a view of the Spree) or protests (see for the contested history of the Cuvrybrache: https://www. citytoolbox.net/journal/two-decades-of-activism-on-the-cuvrybrache-part-i/ / https://www.citytoolbox.net/journal/two-decades-of-activism-on-the-cuvrybrache-part-ii/).
After the land owner who had purchased the site in 2012 was prevented from realising lofts – instead of the 25 per cent of housing demanded by the Senate, he wanted to provide only 10per cent with affordable rents – he quickly reactivated a building permit from 2001 for a purely commercial building. Just a few days before the permit would have expired, the jackhammers started. Between autumn 2016 and summer 2021, two eight-storey buildings were erected here, opening onto the waterfront, but appearing completely impenetrable from the street.
In the first year of construction, the online retailer Zalando was announced as a tenant for one of the two blocks, with more than 16.000 square meters.. Months of campaigning by neighbours and activists („Wir haben das nicht bestellt!“) might have „de-attracted“ – to speak with a notion coined by urban sociologist Andrej Holm – the project to such an extent, that Zalando announced its withdrawal and concentrated instead on developing its locations on the opposite side of the Spree. In the following year, it became known that the food retailer Lieferando would move into the building and turn it into its global headquarter. Since summer 2021, the orange Lieferando flag has been flying over the „Cuvry Campus“.
metroZones member Anne Huffschmid, who lives right in front of the site, documented the five-year construction process from her balcony on a daily basis.