Domestic — Rooms have a particular effect on us. They guide our eyes and ears, thus leading our movement through built space. I am obsessed with spatial impacts and have a soft spot for the discovery of spatial pecularities and oddities. It occurred to me a while ago that a particularly peculiar spatial impact emanates from predator compounds.
A Dog’s Paradise: Grunewald Berlin — It happened to me when I moved to Berlin six years ago, that I wanted to go to a lake on an extremely hot summer day. So I decided to go for a swim in one of Berlin’s lakes, I did a quick search on google and before you knew it I was on my way to Grunewald lake with another new Berliner. We packed a bag, took some towels, a bikini and our bikes. It was only when we actually got there we realised that this is not a swimming area for humans but for mans best friend: dogs.
The architecture of the Baltic Sea is so typically German — In order to take a weekend off from bustling Berlin, we decided to allow ourselves a calm holiday at the Baltic Sea. We hoped to find some rest in a small hamlet on the island of Usedom, but little did I know that I would also find the staid and sedate model of a typical German village: our lovely retreat turned out to be the stage of a peculiar play.
Eastside Gallery: Demolition delayed — After 300 demonstrators gathered at Eastside Gallery earlier today to disturb the demolition of parts of the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, the building contractor and police decided to delay further construction. One piece of wall was removed, protestors are afraid that demolition will be continued later today or at night.
Nikolaiviertel By Night — Like most European cities, Berlin has a historical center. And I don’t mean that newish stuff around Unter den Linden, I’m talking about the medieval village of today’s Nikolaiviertel. I am sure that any tourist can tell more about it than most Berliners, but how many people know about the quiet and shady atmosphere that sets after nightfall?
Veiled Deutsche Bank — Berlin is suffocated by a grey, dark and rainy winter. Yesterday, I noticed a vague gleaming behind the raindrop covered bus window: Could that be the long awaited sun? Well, it wasn’t the miracle I hoped for but the iridescent white tarp that covered a construction site so big, its sheen was bright enough to bring some light into that grey and rainy day.
Autumn Mist — In case you’ve missed it: Yesterday’s dense fog didn’t leave any doubts that autumn has finally arrived. Upon coming home to Kreuzberg I was amazed about the city being densely covered with thick mist – enjoy for yourself how beautiful and eery the Oberbaumbrücke sat enthroned over the Spree yesterday.
Dong Xuan Center — The most astonishing places are often the most hidden ones. Isolated from their surrounding, one has to know about these spots, otherwise it’s highly unlikely to suddenly stumble over them. That’s certainly true for Dong Xuan Center – a place, that I always considered as as exotic as Berlin can be.
Backyards of Berlin: 5, 6 & 7 — As a part of a major urban development plan, that dates back to the late 20th century, the typical courtyards of Berlin were once conceived to ensure heterogenous, thus vivid social compositions. Believe it or not. We strive to endeavour new specimens that leave us both surprised and excited.
The GDR’s Ministry for Building’s demolition site — What’s so compelling about abandoned places? It’s their history in an ever-changing urban environment, the beauty of decay and the oppressive notion of a place filled with stories untold, now forgotten. The former GDR’s Ministry of Building’s demolition site is certainly no exception.
Jewish Cemetery Weißensee — The Jewish Cemetery Weißensee was recently put on a list of future applicants for the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. The oldest tombs date back to 1880 and over the decades, many families buried their dead here – most in ordinary, but still dignified graves and quite a few in splendid family mausolea. We took a walk through Jewish history.
Documenta Kassel 2012 — When recently Elisa and I went to Kassel, we took this opportunity obviously only because of documenta – but I’ll spare with you any remarks, pictures or even critique. However, after I was quickly bored and tired by the masses, I gained interest in other details that documenta and Kassel yielded.
Art exhibition at an abandoned women’s prison (Closed) — It’s Berlin Art Week: the big fairs abc and Preview, the multitude of institutional partners and the heaps of exhibitions open all over the city. But I was particularly happy to spare some time to pay a pop-up exhibition a visit, that found an unusual spot: a former women’s prison, that is abandoned for some thirty years now.
Berlin Doors — About the time I lived in Friedrichshain, I remember one thing quite clearly: the abundance of frontdoors covered in graffiti. Only recently, my photographer friend David showed me an impressive series of photos he shot on a bright and sunny day whilst hunting these remarkable filthy doors of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg.
Erholungspark Marzahn – Gärten der Welt — For some of the pearls among Berlin’s recreational parks you have to travel further. In case of Erholungspark Marzahn it’s a trip to the eastern periphery, where a park is located that overtops the most. Yesterday, we teamed up for a bike tour there and to visit its “Gärten der Welt”, beautifully designed gardens from China, Japan and many more.
Arne Jacobsens Hansaviertel Apartment — Yesterday, we wanted to give an insight into Hansaviertel’s history and architecture. Today, we aim to portray one of the neighbourhood’s residents who, from the very first day, lives in a single-family house designed by Arne Jacobsen. We visited and listened to her story.
Hansaviertel, the modernist Bauhaus settlement of Berlin — When World War II was over, many Berlin districts, among them Hansaviertel, lay in ruins. Soon after, city planners took the opportunity and let famous architects such as Alvar Aalto, Arne Jacobsen, Egon Eiermann design and rebuild the neighbourhood. Today, Hansaviertel is an icon of modernist architecture.
The vast and gorgeous Charité campus in Mitte — There is a spot amidst the city’s heart that measures 180.000 m2, has its own street map, its own transportation system and, as some say, its own governmental structures with councils, committees authorities. Forming a little universe, the somewhat isolated Charité Campus Mitte has its own history and its own stories to tell.
Neukölln’s abandoned Schrebergärten — To make room for the planned city highway A100, a vast allotment garden area was cleared two years ago. Construction didn’t start yet so that the abandoned gardens and cottages still wait for demolition. We were curious what we’d find there and which stories the place would tell – so we paid it a visit.
Berlin’s brutalist architecture — Berlin is certainly not known for architectural excellence. If I was to pinpoint this city’s defining building style, I’d decide for inconsistency in urban planning and at present, a lack of taste. However, there were times, when Berlin was on par with the world – such as in the seventies, when brutalism was in vogue.
Anti-GEMA Protests — The news struck us like lightning: GEMA, the German performing right society for music, recently announced a new accounting system to become effective by 2013 which will ruin many clubs by horrendous increase in charges. Yesterday, a crowd of music lovers gathered for a rally to stop this proposal. We paid it a visit.
Berlin’s abandoned train stations — There are some S-Bahn stations that haven’t seen a train for more than thirty years now. Ghost stations. Some of them still exist and are easy to spot, others are decayed to such an extent that one hardly recognizes the platform. All of them tell stories from prosperous times long ago.