Category: Berlin

St Agnes | König Galerie

Berlin May 2017

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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.

 

 

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Anselm Reyle | Eight Miles High

 

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König Galerie, St. Agnes, Alexandrinenstr. 118-121, 10968 Berlin.

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Cafe Pförtner

Berlin May 2017

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.

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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.

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Originally serving the locals it’s now becoming a destination in it’s own right.

Cafe Pförtner, Uferstraße 8-11, 13357 Berlin.

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Berlin June 2016

“In every dwelling, even the richest, the first task of the phenomenologist is to find the original shell. But the related problems are many if we want to determine the profound reality of all the subtle shadings of our attachment for a chosen spot. For a phenomenologist, these shadings must be taken as the first rough outlines of a psychological phenomenon. The shading is not an additional, superficial colouring. We should therefore have to say how we inhabit our vital space, in accord with all the dialectics of life, how we take root, day after day, in a “corner of the world.”

– Gaston Bachelard