issue #35: Integration
Berlin’s modernist architecture is a sight for sore eyes. Characterised by clean geometric lines, industrial materials and a strong sense of functionality, this architectural current has left an indelible mark on the city. Modernist masterpieces such as the Haus des Lehrers, the Kulturforum, the Mendelsonbauten, residential complexes such as the Versuchsiedlung Taut, alongside smaller-scale works such as the Versuchssiedlung Schorlemer Allee, represent the essence of this movement. But Berlin’s modernist architecture is not only a testimony to the past: it continues to influence and inspire contemporary architects, in a continuous urban regeneration. Indeed, Berlin became a laboratory for modernist architects, who had the opportunity to explore new ideas and experiment with innovative solutions. Welcome to Caleido, the Kaleidoscopic Observatory on the world of creativity / Read the Editor’s letter here.
1. Stilwerk Hotel
Field-base: the Stilwerk Hotel in Berlin is an ode to contemporary design, harmoniously interwoven with the city’s vibrant and inspiring mood. Located in the Stilwerk Garage, a former garage turned temple of inspiration, it regularly hosts contemporary art exhibitions and design events, offering hotel guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in Berlin’s eclectic world of emerging art and the latest design trends.
2. König Gallery
A visit to the @König Gallery in Berlin, founded by Johann König, is the embodiment of his bold and innovative vision in the world of art and architecture. His ability to identify emerging talents and promote new perspectives has made the @König Gallery a landmark in the European art scene, not least due to its unique location: a modern concrete church – that was built in the 60ies by renowned Berlin brutalist architect Werner Düttmann – remodeled in 2015 by the architect Arno Brandlhuber.
3. Gonzalez Haase
Coffee with Pierre Jorge Gonzalez, co-founder of the @Gonzalez Haase architecture studio. With his avant-garde and conceptual vision, he has transformed the city’s urban spaces into true works of art, characterised by a futuristic atmosphere and the use of materials such as glass and steel. Iconic projects in Berlin include the @Andreas Murkudis store and the @Hagius sports centre. Other projects around the world include the Balenciaga and Modes retail stores in Milan, and the Slam Jam showroom in Paris.
4. Wilmina Hotel
Private tour of the @Wilmina Hotel. German firm Grüntuch Ernst Architects, who now also own and run the hotel as a family business, achieved an extraordinary transformation by converting an abandoned women’s prison in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district into the @Wilmina Hotel. This complex, consisting of two structures dating back to the 19th century, has been masterfully reinvented. The interior of the hotel respects the pre-existing architecture of the buildings, preserving traces of their prison past. This balance between history and contemporaneity creates a unique and all-encompassing atmosphere, in which guests can immerse themselves in the essence of the place and discover the stories that the walls enclose.
5. Berlin Modernism Tour
Berlin Modernism Tour, organized by @visitBerlin, the city’s tourism board. A fascinating experience that transports you back in time, immersing design-lovers in Berlin’s vibrant history of modernist architecture. On the tour you can admire architectural masterpieces from the 1920s and 1930s that testify to the avant-garde and boldness of those times. From the majestic residential buildings of Walter Gropius to the iconic works of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, you can experience a broad overview of the modernist style and its impact on the city, in a process of continuous reading and re-reading.