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Urban life in the countryside

In the Drusus barracks in Schlanders, Italy, the BASIS Vinschgau Venosta project is creating open spaces for events of all kinds, workshops, fun and exchanges. (c) BASIS Vinschgau Venosta

A drive-in cinema, indoor cycling, workshops – the “BASIS Vinschgau Venosta” project aims to create an inspiring venue in the northern Italian municipality of Schlanders, South Tyrol.

“The aim of BASIS Vinschgau Venosta is to bring together the economy and society, research and development, as well as culture,” says project initiator Hannes Götsch. With the “Social Innovation Hub” in the Vinschgau community of Schlanders, he is creating a place where ideas can take shape. The location is the former Drusus barracks in the centre of a valley in the west of South Tirol, a four-hectare site transferred from the state to the municipality in 2014. Completed in 1937, it was home to up to 1,200 soldiers at its peak. The military abandoned it at the end of the 1990s.

Since then the Palazzina Servizi (the former service building) has also housed a pizzeria, as well as an events venue and cinema hall. The initiator of the project, Hannes Götsch from Schlanders, had worked abroad in metal production for 15 years and decided to take a one-year break. He suggested the congregation a different use for the building, which was the smallest of a total of four. After Hannes Götsch had organised Efre funding of 700,000 euros for the software, i.e. the content, the municipality promised a further three million euros for the hardware, i.e. the functional refurbishment. Now open spaces for new ideas and creative thinking, as well as for concerts, workshops, studios and shared workplaces emerge.

The BASIS team, a forum for the creative scene and entrepreneurship, is working on turning the barracks into a space for business, education, culture and social affairs. The work of the BASIS team has already borne fruit, getting together around 800 people from different sectors of industry in the municipality of Schlanders to meet around different events. The team also lured the people of Schlanders to the former parade ground by opening a drive-in cinema, “to help reconcile them with its fascist past”, as Götsch explains. And the “Altbau Kriterium”, a form of bike race held inside old buildings, sees another new event format enlivening the old barracks. In the future, BASIS will be a place of attraction for companies, start-ups, young people, artists, creative people and, last but not least, returning people, because appropriate events and activities will take place.

 

More information:

https://basis.space/

Fact sheet

Who: BASIS Vinschgau Venosta, Social Innovation Hub and Real Laboratory

Where: Schlanders, Italy

When: Since 2015

How: Renovation and conversion of a former barracks in Schlanders to turn it into a hub for business, education and culture.

Transferability: High – if the community in question is supportive and if the appropriate premises/vacant spaces, start-up financing and operating model are in place.

Picture caption: In the Drusus barracks in Schlanders, Italy, the BASIS Vinschgau Venosta project is creating open spaces for events of all kinds, workshops, fun and exchanges.