Asta Gröting, Berlin Fassaden
On a rainy day in Neukölln during late October, I’m running down puddle laden pavements, cars lights casting rays on the cobbled streets off Karl-Marx-Straße, a gusting wind making me question this particular mission. A question quickly lost to rows of damp glistening red bricks, sheets of brightly glowing glass, strong angles opposing misty rain, the sun casting hopeful refulgent rays on the walls of KINDL. In this moment, the imposing grandeur of this old brewery feels almost ethereal.
The extraordinary space of the former Kindl brewery is now the site of the KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art. Presenting international contemporary art in the vast spaces of the old Power House and Boiler room, the inside provides a unique backdrop for art.
Haegue Yang, Silo of Silence – Clicked Core
KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art. Am Sudhaus 3, 12053, Berlin.
Mies van der Rohe Haus. Oberseestraße 60, 13053 Berlin.
Brutalism is the bold postwar architectural movement synonymous with concrete which divides opinion, but is, in my opinion, happily and finally finding a new wave of appreciation in its stark style and functional forms. Brazenly raw, Brutalist architecture sought socialist uniformity and functionality in a postwar time, becoming the architecture of the establishment.
When I lived in London, I had a walk to work that took me past the Hayward Gallery every morning. It was remarkably ugly, with the look of a multi-storey car park, yet intriguingly beautiful. A subtle beauty in its bold angles, the shadows, and play of light. What I really loved, though, were the textures and rawness of materials – the different finishes, markings, and imprints from wood moulds. I suspect this is where my love affair with concrete began. After years of living in London and really exploring places like the Barbican and Southbank Centre, I discovered St Agnes in Berlin.
The windowless structure of raw angular blocks stands, dominant, in a quiet residential corner of Kreuzberg. A utilitarian facade that opens to a serenely soft main gallery, graceful and luminous, lit from above. A uniquely striking art space. This former Brutalist church, built in 1967 by Werner Düttmann, has been reinvented by the art dealer Johann König.
Anselm Reyle | Eight Miles High
König Galerie, St. Agnes, Alexandrinenstr. 118-121, 10968 Berlin.
Set amidst artist studios and Berlin creativity in the old gatekeepers house of a former BVG repair shop, Cafe Pförtner is a beautiful find in an increasingly interesting pocket of Wedding. Focused on the flavours of seasonal ingredients and an Italian inspired simplicity, this cafe serves up a few daily specials, such as beetroot risotto with ricotta and spinach or duck salsiccia with carrot couscous and mint yoghurt. Everything is lovingly cooked and presented.
The place is charmingly cobbled together, in true Berlin style, with it’s rooms joining into an old BVG bus from the 70’s to create a truly unique dining experience. In summer it’s sun filled courtyard is surrounded by the buzz of artist studios, works in progress, canvas’ leaning on walls, random objects waiting to be claimed all adding to atmosphere.
Originally serving the locals it’s now becoming a destination in it’s own right.
Cafe Pförtner, Uferstraße 8-11, 13357 Berlin.