Neuköllns former brewery is now the KINDL Center for Contemporary Art

The former KINDL brewery in Neukölln was transformed into a new center of contemporary art. Why they didn't make it into a straight-up hardcore Techno club, I'll never know.
7 Mar ’17 by Sara Architecture, Places

Have you ever had coffee, cake and art between the relicts of beer production? No? Me neither. But from now on you can enjoy the holy Berlin trifecta in Neukölln at the recently opened KINDL Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst: (1) the architecture of a former industrial space, (2) contemporary art and (3) alcoholic beverages slash soy milk cappuccinos.

The center opened in late 2016. The entire former brewery was opened to the public and will be used in the future to host various exhibitions of contemporary art. That’s 1200 square meters of space in the Power House of the brewery.

Somehow I had managed to miss the premiere exhibition of the KINDL center, How Long Is Now. That’s because my knowledge of (as well as my passion for) art is rusty at best. At worst, it’s simply non-existing. And if it weren’t for the exciting spatial context of the brewery, I would have probably never considered a visit.

Don’t worry about my cultural affinity, though: I am now reaching an age at which looking at art is becoming more tangible to my lifestyle than sex, drugs & raving.

König Otto Café at KINDL Center

Although there is currently no ongoing exhibition, you can still visit the premises of the former KINDL brewery. At König Otto café, right amidst shiny brass brewing silos, you can enjoy coffee, Greek wines and vegan/vegetarian cuisine for lunch or as a snack if you’re nearby.

Open 11 am to 6 pm Wednesday to Sunday, free WIFI available.

The structure and architecture of the KINDL Museum

Yah, I would love to pretend I can tell you heaps of interesting tidbits about this particular building. Alas, I went there on a cloudy and bleak day, and there was not a single person to be found who could tell me more about it. That, along with the fact that there’s no exhibition until April, made it hard for me to explore the rest of the building. Until I can have full access of the new art center, here’s what the copypasta from the official website:

In 2011, the German-Swiss couple Burkhard Varnholt and Salome Grisard purchased the former Kindl brewery premises in order to refurbish them for contemporary cultural production. This listed red-brick building was built between 1926 and 1930, in a style reminiscent of German expressionism. It has a seven-storey tower and a 20-metre-high Boiler House, a three-storey Power House, and a Brew House with six brewing coppers. Comprehensive refurbishment began in autumn 2012, including revamping the east facade to form a new entrance area that will combine a sense of tradition and history with new directions in architecture to create a foyer, external stairway and sawtooth roof.

I’m kinda upset, though. WHY DIDN’T ANYBODY THINK OF MAKING THIS MAGNIFICENT PLACE A CLUB?! It’s P E R F E C T: Situated in a grimy part of town, with plenty of space surrounding it and enough distance from the next neighbors to prevent any noise pollution at night.

I guess the whole city’s finally getting old with me.

 

Current: Olympia exhibition in the Kesselhaus

Actually, there’s still one exhibition going on in the beautiful Kesselhaus building: David Claerbout’s Olympia, the real-time disintegration into ruins of the Berlin Olympic Stadion over the course of a thousand years).

Granted, it’s not one of the most exiting pieces of art I’ve ever seen, but its sheer size and the commitment to beanie bags in the cold boiler room make it a very special video installation.

Olympia (March 2016) Courtesy the artist and galleries Sean Kelly, New York; Esther Schipper, Berlin; Micheline Szwajcer, Brussels © David Claerbout / VG BILD-KUNST, Bonn, 2016

David Claerbout
Olympia
Sept. 11, 2016 –  May 28, 2017
Kesselhaus (Boiler House)

 

KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art, Am Sudhaus 3, 12053 Berlin+49 (0)30 83 21 59 12 16

Two comments

  1. It actually has been used for some rare techno parties a couple of years ago (around 2008? 9?). I think the today’s usage is the best for this old, outstanding building and the neighborhood.

  2. Hey Hans, thanks for your input. I didn’t know that… I moved to Berlin in 2008, but it took a while to figure out where the illegal raves are :)
    I guess you’re right: a good cultural space is better than a bad commercial club! I was just being nostalgic and trying to be funny..