The Local Germany (1 October 2015)
If you’re looking for a property to rent near Berlin, a 1980s nuclear bunker 30 kilometres from the city centre might not be top of your wishlist.
But scrolling through the latest adverts on German property websiteimmonet.de, that’s exactly what your search could turn up.
Built in 1988, the nuclear bunker in question is in Gosen-Neu Zwittau, a small satellite town by the Seddinsee lake.
A Stasi base in the GDR
“The area housed a training building for the Ministry of State Security [Stasi],” René Krüger from Berliner Unterwelten (Berlin Underworlds), a society which explores and documents subterranean architecture in and around the city, told The Local.
As the GDR’s state security service, the Stasi became known as one of the most repressive intelligence agencies and secret police forces ever to have existed.
The bunker would have been made from prefabricated components, he said – and would have been used by Stasi members in operation in Gosen.
Photo: Paasche AG
Those searching for their new dream home on the outskirts of Berlin might want to give this property a miss – because sadly, one thing the bunker isn’t well kitted-out for is living in.
“It would be terrible to live in,” said Heidner. “There aren’t any windows!”
The building is listed as a “Free time rental” on the website – does that mean it’s a place one might go sauntering off to at the weekends for a bit of rest and relaxation?
“Well, I probably wouldn’t spend my free time there, but it’s up to whoever rents the bunker!” Heidner said.
A “shell” of a building
The rental will set its new tenants back €2,000 a month, with additional utility costs of €1,000 pcm.
At 35.9m long, 38.4m wide and 3.1m tall, the bunker has 40 rooms – and with a rental price of just €2 per m2, it could seem like an absolute steal on first glance compared with property in central Berlin.
But at some point between 1990 and 2007, when Paasche AG took ownership of the plot, the bunker was looted.
Photo: Paasche AG
With all facilities demolished or unrigged, the “structural shell” is all that remains of the bunker.
The perfect place to grow mushrooms?
But this won’t stop creative renters finding ways to put the property to use, Heidner believes.
From the outside, the building can be made extremely secure – making it ideal for storing documents, art or other important possessions, Heidner said.
The bunker is also well insulated from interfering signals, making it well adapted to become a storehouse for computer systems and internet data.
It could make an excellent data centre, Heidner explained.
And one more alternative use for this 1980s bunker?
“It could be used for breeding mushrooms,” speculated Heidner.
It sounds pretty far-fetched, but the building’s cool, dark interior makes it well suited for growing fungi.