Berlin is certainly no stranger to reinvention. The city’s cultural and urban redevelopment has often gone hand in hand, creating unique conditions for meaningful social, artistic and political exchange. Home to countless initiatives—many born within the forlorn and derelict urban spaces throughout the city—it appears that Berlin’s urban planning continues to amplify the role that art, design and architecture has in projecting the aspirations, dreams and interests of its natives. Walking the streets you can’t help but feel that Berlin is a city in constant negotiation with its past, pushing against the walls to establish a new vision and future. Neue Luxury took a stroll around the city to rediscover the energy, passion and enterprise that brings such diverse, unconventional and exciting ideas to life.
Photo courtesy of Soho House Berlin.
Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/ewarwoowar.
The transformation of Jüdische Mädchenschule certainly experienced its peak when the building became a small temple of contemporary culture in 2009. Founded in 1835, Jüdische Mädchenschule was Berlin’s first Jewish school for girls. Today, it holds three galleries for contemporary art on the top floor and an area for the general public on the ground floor. Mogg & Melzer, the Jewish deli and Kosher Classroom, serve traditional kosher meals and Shabbat dinners on Fridays. The kitchen also showcases delicious customary German dishes from the beginning of the 20th century. It is truly a place to see, taste and embrace. www.maedchenschule.org/en
Photo by Jan Bitter.
Efe Erenler started building when he was eight years old. His passion for creation led him to the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin where he studied architecture and founded his namesake studio. The Efe Erenler studio has been gaining momentum with a prolific output each year. Clients of the studio come from diverse creative backgrounds, which Erenler believes to be fundamental to his approach. The practice redefines aesthetics and functionality in architecture. The close-knit team collaborate with artists, fashion designers and brands throughout Europe. www.efeerenler.com
Photo by Yves Sucksdorff, courtesy of Gestalten.
Gestalten was founded in Berlin in 1995. Since its inception, the business has expanded from a publishing house into a platform for a broad range of creative activities, including the development of workshops, exhibitions, films and video initiatives. Combining diverse artistic practices, Gestalten is striving to address relevant points of contemporary culture and expand the horizons of human perception. Having developed more than 500 books, covering some of the most compelling minds of our time, the company’s main goal is to push creative expression to new frontiers. www.gestalten.com
Photo by Achim Hatzius.
The craft of making Rosshaarmatratzen, horsehair mattresses, has been in Swiss artisan Daniel Heer’s family since 1907, when his great-grandfather Benedikt Heer opened a saddlery in Lucerne, Switzerland. Four generations on, continuing the tradition passed down to him from his father, Daniel Heer is still making the original horsehair mattresses at Manufaktur HEER in Berlin. Through the application of sustainable materials and modern design sensibility, Heer has also made his family’s heirloom craftsmanship his own with lines of genuine leatherworks and bespoke horsehair mattresses. www.danielheer.com
Photo courtesy of Soho House Berlin.
Soho House touched down in Berlin four years ago and immediately became a destination for creative practioners from around the world. Located in the magnificent building designed in the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) style by architects Georg Bauer and Siegfried Friedlander, Soho House maintains a strong artistic program, inviting members to attend year round book premieres, concerts and film screenings. www.sohohouseberlin.com
Photo courtesy of The Boros Collection.
SAMMLUNG BOROS BERLIN
The Boros Collection is a private collection of contemporary art housed in a 3000 square metre bunker in the heart of Berlin. Built in 1941 by Karl Bonatz, under the leadership of Albert Speer, the bunker became a place for experimentation during Berlin’s transformative years following the fall of the Wall. During the nineties, the bunker became a hub for techno music and fetish fantasy. The building was purchased by Christian Boros in 2013 and converted to serve as his private residence and to house his extensive art collection. www.sammlung-boros.de
Photo courtesy of Restaurant Richard.
Swiss-born artist Hans Richard realised his haute cuisine dreams within the walls of his recently opened restaurant located in one of Berlin’s most exciting districts—Kreuzberg. The space was designed by architect Lisa Kadel, with a vision of complementing the historic wooden ceiling with exquisite pastel glass lamps. While the walls are adorned with artworks by the likes of Klossowski and Kunze; the patron’s sense of smell and taste are perhaps most captivated by the culinary skills of Tino Scodeller and John Richet. www.restaurant-richard.de
Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/bigarnex.
Berlinale is one of the most influential film festivals in the world. To the delight of cinephiles, the festival presents films from over 130 nations. Founded in West Berlin in 1951, the festival has been celebrated annually since 1978. It is considered the largest publicly attended film festival in the world. Divided into ten sections, Berlinale focuses on different genres, topics and social issues, showing up to 400 films in total alongside a long established foundation for ongoing political and social discourse. www.berlinale.de
Photo courtesy of Berghain.
Set in the depths of a colossal former factory building and located on the boundary that separated East and West, stands one of the world’s most infamous nightclubs. The Berghain, a concrete labyrinth analogeous to both heaven and hell. It is comprised of several spaces including Berghain, a deep, dark cathedral dedicated to techno. The club’s remarkable program and penetrating sound system is open Friday through to Monday morning. www.berghain.de
Photo by Semra Sevin.
St. Agnes church is one of the most emblematic spaces in Berlin. A physical manifestation of the dynamic urban development that characterises the city and exemplifies a unique multidisciplinary culture. One of Berlin’s premier urban planners, Werner Düttmann, was responsible for the brutalist façade of this sacred building. Various creative minds develop their ideas in and out of this vibrant atmosphere including Joerg Koch, the editor of fashion and culture magazine 032c, architecture studio Robertneun and the Praxes Center for Contemporary Art. www.st-agnes.net
Neue Luxury • Issue 3 • Design • Feature • BY Margarita Kudrina SHARE
Turn on, tune in, drop art
It’s a fine winter’s day in central Amsterdam, a city so preternaturally handsome it should come with its own mirror and grooming kit. Tall merchants houses standing proud in the sunshine, bathed in a flattering light, huddle together on the banks of its famous canals and all seems well in this picture-perfect world.
The brightest, biggest and boldest
Every year an international skulk of art lovers, curators, artists and collectors descend upon the sun drenched streets of Miami, Florida to consume the brightest, biggest and boldest of the international art elite. With 73,000 international visitors feverishly devouring everything that Art Basel Miami Beach has to offer through its myriad of satellite fairs, sideshows and parties.
Woody Allen was once quoted as saying, “you can live to be 100 if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred”. And while some may subscribe to such a contrite and tortuous renunciation, our editorial team isn’t particularly enamoured with the thought of outliving a giant Aldabra tortoise.