ZWZ DIY. What do the letters mean? Well, the obvious, of course, and then it stands for Zentral-Wäscherei Zürich. The spot where this new cornerstone of the local DIY projects is developing used to be the central washing house of Zurich. A place where the thousands of daily used blankets and towels a cities’ industry produces were washed, bleached, dried, folded and sent back out to be shat on again… Hospitals, hotels, those places produce an incredible amount of dirty white. But not there anymore.
Nowadays this six-story building is a community space ran by a pretty much idealistic cluster of collectives. You can find your lunch spot, the obligatory club in the basement, exhibition space, a repair café for upcycling, bike-, wood-, steel workshops, a pretty lively IT community, designers of all kinds, etc. – a creative class, which sees itself as part of the anti-capitalistic grass-rootish non-gentrifying movement. There’s even a governmentally certified bio lab where they experiment with fungi! Or an office of experts which acts as consultants for the Swiss government in questions of digital ethics. And then, there’s Serge’s garage.
Serge is one of the guys who keeps on growing the Beast DIY, and he has a garage full of tools in this very spot. And by full I mean FULL. Any tool you could wish for, it can be found there, twice. Naturally it didn’t go long before it became a local hangout and a first little quarter appeared. By now a number of little obstacles have been cemented around the building. Wherever there is space and no nature has to be touched, new lines are sought. Contrary to a big DIY it more has the feeling of a cluster of small elements dispersed between containers, trees and walls. A rather practicable approach in the dense space of center cities.
Under normal circumstances such a structure would not really allow to hold more than a little session. But… since the guys running the café next door thought it would be an excellent idea to set up an outdoor stage – right in front of the volcano – it was only a question of time before somebody had the idea to have a session with a concert. Throw all that in a bucket, mix the ZWZ locals with some Warriors, give it a bit of local shop support and you get yourself a reason to party. Best Trick Sessions on four obstacles, including a make-shift dirt jump and to round it off two concerts with the Jimmys and the Autobahns. All together in what feels like a post-industrialist corner with loads of plants and colour, and a huge crowd of great people. A perfect start, let’s call it a test, a successful test, something that screams for a yearly repetition – with a few more plants and a bit more concrete.
Follow ZWZ on Insta: @zwz_diy
For those interested in the space: zentralwaescherei.space/en
Links to Music: