Logo Musiker-WG

Musicians Penthouse

People from different cultures living together is one of today’s most pressing issues. We need many new ideas which have to be first tried on a small scale. The Creative Quarter CityNord is an effort by the state government in Essen to create a testing ground that because of its high proportion of migrants and central location offers ideal conditions for approaches to achieving art and creativity in situations where other attempts don’t work so well.

We need groups of Germans and migrants who work together on common projects. Living situations where a workshop is jointly operated, where joint internet projects and much more can be pursued. In our case the inclusion can use music as the vehicle. The starting conditions for such an approach are quite good, since there is already a group of Germans and Roma which is highly active in the hip-hop arena under the name Roma.Art.Action. Read more here... This group lived scattered throughout the Ruhr region, the Roma members have problems being tolerated in Germany, and the group as a whole was having difficulties finding spaces for rehearsals, meetings and smaller events. Through intensive networking by the actors in the Creative Quarter CityNord contact with the neighborhood and Creative Quarter has been established.

Reinhard Wiesemann, himself a resident of the Creative Quarter and owner of the creative center "Unperfekthaus" as well as the multi-generational house, has become involved in this experiment as a well-meaning, dedicated lessor of the penthouse described at right, supported by an expert advisory board. Thanks also to the job center and the Social Welfare Office, which have subsidized the rent expenses for individual residents even in this unusual and experimental project to the same extend which would have been covered in “normal” living arrangements as well.


200sqm penthouse at Rottstraße 24, Essen-City. Office spaces are part of the facility, so that evenings through should be no noise problems with neighbors if one keeps the windows closed and doesn’t make TOO MUCH noise. Kefaet has already said that they will not be all that loud and will be considerate. On July 21, 2016 we carried out a test with the musicians performing their typical music: in the meeting room directly below the music was quietly audible in the background, and in the tax office below nothing could be heard. The situation was deemed acceptable by all those involved, and everyone supported the project. An example of this music can be seen in this YouTube video starting at 1:06:30

Aussenansicht Gemeinschaftsraum Flur WC

Support, public perception, outlook

The Musicians-Penthouse enjoys the support of an advisory board that consults for the project and assists it at no cost. Members of the board are Konstantin Adamopoulos (artistic scout for the RWE Foundation at the Kreativquartier), Hamit Avdo (Kosovarian Solidarity and Aid Association), Prof. Stefan Heinemann (Vice-Rector of the FOM University of Applied Sciences), Tuncer Kalayci (Communal Integration Center of Essen), Willi Overbeck (deputy for interreligious affairs of the Protestant Church in Essen), Thomas Rüth (social worker) and Reinhard Wiesemann (property owner and creative entrepreneur). Legal consulting assistance came within just a few hours from Kanzlei juraxx Piegsa & Rimrott, a legal firm with its office in the Creative Quarter Essen CityNord – many thanks!

The Musicians Penthouse strives to achieve public recognition and to become integrated into the Creative Quarter. We need to consider inviting a TV team right at the outset to report on the project. Reinhard Wiesemann as property owner will put up “Musiker-WG Roma.Art.Action” sign on the building and create awareness of the project through his channels and keep it in the general discussion. He will pay the residents 100€ per month if they hold living room concerts or discussion circles in the Penthouse to which neighbors and creative artists are also invited. He will assist in getting out invitations.

The goal must be not only personal integration, but also to achieve economic independence of the musicians through work- and music- royalty income. Incorporation into existing structures (Gema,…) should follow in addition.


The Creative Quarter Essen CityNord lives from fresh ideas, from enthusiasm and the courage to tread new paths. It has already helped to achieve much in this former problem district and more than anyone would have thought possible even just a few years ago. Artistic initiatives and unusual living arrangements have arisen. Studio collectives practice an artistically inspired sense of community, and young start-ups are finding a promising, original environment in CityNord.

Now a new experiment is starting which gives me great pleasure. A residential community is being formed whose members have completely different biographies, as they are made up of Roma, Moslems and German Christians. A love of music brought them together, and I am excited to see whether they uncover even more commonalities. This multi-cultural form of cooperative living and working will be an interesting experience, regardless of whether it results in an exemplary oeuvre or “just” a movement in a symphony of practiced diversity.

In any case all kinds of joint undertakings are being planned to advance the progress of this city quarter. There will be living room concerts to which the neighborhood are invited – yet another way to get to know one another. I hope to receive an invitation as well, even though I can’t (yet) call myself a neighbor.

Andreas Bomheuer
Alderman for Culture, Integration and Sports of the City of Essen

5 December 2016
Zimmer Bad Zimmer

6 rooms as personal rest areas for the residents PLUS a large kitchen and common area, 2 WCs, first-class bathroom. The Musicians Penthouse shows that MANY different forms of living are possible and accepted in Germany.


Kefaet Prizreni, Selami Prizreni, Sebastian Ohsmer, Yusef Amrani, Abil Misini

The flat-sharing community (WG) apartment is rented to all residents as a group. When a WG member moves out, the others must find a new tenant – there is no other way, since the residents need to get along on a human level. As long as a replacement is not found the remaining residents will have to pay correspondingly more, so that the total rent for the apartment is still paid. If the rent is not paid in full or only partially, the landlord may invoke the right of termination for the entire apartment in accordance with §573 Paragraph 2 No. 1.


7€/sqm + utilities and other expenses (previously this was 350€ for heat + 200€ for other expenses = 550€) for a total of 1400€ rent, which comes out to 280€ rent excluding heat per person for 5 residents. If the expenses remain unchanged and the occupants heat frugally, it comes out to 110€ per head for additional expenses. The total rent is thus an anticipated 390€ per person assuming frugal heating.

The existing kitchen (without refrigerator) will be taken over from the previous tenant by the flat-sharing community.

Landlord: Reinhard Wiesemann, Friedrich-Ebert-Str. 18, 45127 Essen, 0201 84735-0, info@unperfekthaus.de

Thanks to the property management firm Hausverwaltung Schmidt for their involvement in this unusual project and to the building neighbors who are sharing in it!


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