Friday, January 02, 2009

The swankiest homeless shelter in the world

After a revamp by a concept artist, this building in Berlin has been dubbed the swankiest homeless shelter in the world.

Italian wallpapers, gold trimmings, parquet flooring, red carpeting and crystal chandeliers have replaced the scruffy decor of a shelter for homeless men in Berlin.

The finished work of art, which concept artist Miriam Kilali said resembles a "living painting," is called Reichtum 2.

"It means wealth," she said. "It's a symbol, an attempt to give the 21 men who live here a sense of self-worth and a decent place where they might find dignity and respect -- wealth of sorts after all they've been through."

The smell of stale alcohol and tobacco lingers in the air, a reminder that the residents are chronic alcoholics, most of whom suffer from mental disorders and none of whom are likely to recover. "Nobody really has time for alcoholics," said Kilali. "Children and animals yes, but not aging alcoholic men."

"When we were trying to raise the funds there was a lot of tension over spending such a lot of money and questions as to why these men in particular should benefit. After all, what had they contributed to society?"

Kilali plans to transport her vagabond chic to New York next year where the third Reichtum project will be launched.

Read the Guardian story here.


At 5:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a Wonderful Idea!
This kind of concept art should be copied everywhere.
Thank You, Miriam Kilali!


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