Eutropian Special Report: ExRotaprint

Stability through work, art and community

The uniqueness of ExRotaprint is visible in its architecture, history, ownership, and function.

It has also proven its uniqueness over time by bringing together people and working for the development of its neighborhood. It is a place that is diverse in its program and its people and has made this diversity a strength. 

Growth through solidarity

As the community in the compound grew, a sense of support, cooperation, and solidarity started to organically develop. Affordability and long-term security have provided ExRotaprint with loyal tenants and community engagement. From arranging events in the Glass Box event space with utmost care to providing tenants with office spaces according to their needs, ExRotaprint has managed to leave a long-lasting impression of care and openness and impact the community it’s a part of.  This care, safety, and security were even experienced by the members in the most difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eutropian produced documentary on ExRotaprint

We visited ExRotaprint on-site and spent a wonderful few days on the compound, as we got to know the diverse businesses, artists, and workshops co-habiting this tremendously spacious compound.

What struck us most was the diversity ad variety of businesses currently operating out of this ex-print factory. From social businesses to workshops, artists and social entrepreneurs to companies: the wide range of initiatives made for a very lively and open atmosphere.

View the film to find out more…

"…So diversity is living here. You can see it and feel it. So it is not just an idea that is written on paper somewhere and not implemented and the evidence is as you walk into the space you see and experience diversity."​

Spaces turned into places for people

ExRotaprint has always kept its doors open for the people and neighborhoods around it. From social projects, language schools, NGOs, and events, this place brings everyone together and allows people to cooperate and support each other. The trust and care ExRotaprint showed towards its users and tenants has been the key to developing an organic sense of community, support, and solidarity. The community members trust the organization to take care of their needs, and equally, understand their responsibilities as members of a growing community. The impact of the community growth and evolution in the ExRotaprint can be seen beyond its walls, in the neighborhood, and a waiting list for a space in the compound is proof of its impact and demand. The one-third division of tenants allowed ExRotaprint to stay functioning after the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. As people got free time, many renovations projects started at home, and production companies and workshops renting spaces in ExRotaprint started getting more demand.

I would say that when people enter this place for one purpose, for example, to go into the language school, then they might meet other people like the craftsmen or artists and interact. This interaction between different people is unique. What happens in ExRotaprint welcomes the exchange of ideas and welcomes interaction. The door is always open.

Adjusting to the pandemic

The compound has been undergoing constant renovations since the day it started functioning. In the past decade, different parts of the compound have been restored and renovated. This work is carried outside by side as to not disturb the everyday functions. While improving the structural conditions of different parts of the building is important, special consideration is given to the tenants and their experience. However, these renovation works, like any other activity, saw major delays and set back in the past two years. Some major projects planned for the year 2020 had to be delayed with the start of the pandemic while some smaller renovation works have resumed.

The major challenge is to slow everything down. As we are always doing something and fast. We realized that it was important for us to slow everything down to secure our money and keep it, in case the situation got wors

A look into the future

The unique ownership of ExRotaprint has made it stable and rooted for the future. The three-part economic model of work, art, and community activities has also made it sustainable for the future. It is a basic framework put into place that works in all situations, and the same framework will be followed by future generations and develop further. It is designed to work slowly and steadily for a long time. The involvement of different types of tenants in one compound might have its problems, but also brings with it opportunities for growth and stability. This sustainability and stability were proven in the past years during the pandemic, when despite the lockdowns and closing of offices, ExRotaprint sustained itself and kept moving forward. As the organization faced its biggest challenge, Covid-19, in its initial years with grace, it is ready to face bigger challenges in the future with confidence.   

…They can't sell it in the first place, they have to fulfill this mixture of users, work out the community and they have to be a nonprofit that has the goals of promoting the heritable buildings, historic monuments or any kind of monuments, and to promote arts and culture. So, this is the framework, and the future generations, within this framework, have to develop themselves what they're doing and the way they're doing it.

 

 

The sustainability of the compound and the strong community building depends mainly on the tenants. Therefore, they are free to be involved in activities happening around the compound. The cooperation between the managing team and the tenants has converted this building compound into a space for collaboration, openness, and teamwork, and these are foundational attributes of ExRotaprint for future development.

Follow ExRotaprint on social media.

Eutropian is proud partner of the Open Heritage project, which identifies and tests the best practices of adaptive heritage re-use in Europe.


We lead the research on case studies and produced documentary films on select sites.

Have questions? For more information about the project contact Levente Polyak.