Located in the touristic centre of Hamburg, just a few minutes walk from the opera and the Jungfernstieg with its upscale retail stores and beautiful views of the river Alster, the Gängeviertel stands out between the neighbouring glass and steel office towers. This is not only due to the visual appearance of this nineteenth-century brick building complex, but also because the current uses, the ‘look and feel’ of the place, are in sharp contrast with the polished adjacent shopping and business districts. This last ensemble remaining from what was a historic working-class district had not seen major investments since the 1940s, and was left decaying and mostly vacant in expectance of redevelopment when it was squatted by a diverse group of artists, political activists, architects and planners in 2009. They organized exhibitions and art performances in the buildings and inner courtyards to make a loud and colourful statement against the selling out of not only the city’s architectural heritage but also its subcultural milieu.