Architecture / Space
From Club to Cultural Centre
Aesthetics of appropriation and production of urban spaces in Berlin
With: Heim Balp Architekten
The conditions for designing cultural spaces in East Berlin have undergone vigorous transformation since the start of the millennium, on account of equally dramatic changes in the conditions of production. From the fall of the Wall up to the beginning of the 2000s, there was a surplus of available space in the city; art, culture and society were at the core of the production of space. These spaces were designed beyond the commercial concerns of adding value. The post-revolutionary state of exception that resulted from Germany’s turn to a free-market economy was followed by a normalisation of bourgeois conditions. Acquired rights and financial interests became the focus of design work. In their original form, the spaces of the 1990s were temporary, modifiable, and always spontaneous. Today, the production of space aims at a steady creation of value. The commercialisation of the city and the boom of the market have reversed the conditions of production. The aesthetic traces of this period are still visible today. Through the architectural practice of Heim Balp, we tell the story of urban space since the millennium: from club, to cultural centre.