Mittwoch, 16. September 2015

Berlin has its own museum of architecture

With the beautiful autumn in full bloom, and some vacation days to be completely on my own, I discovered that I don't need to travel too far away to discover new things. All I have to do is to take a metro till, let's say Senefelderplatz, cross the street and go up to the stairs of the whitish buildish with a big written sign: Pfefferberg on it.
In just a couple of seconds I was in a little piazza created on the first open air floor, on the precincts of a former brewery, Pfefferberg, one of the many beer Berlin brands at the beginning of the 20th century. In 2000, the entire complex of building went throgh a radical reconstruction work and turned into a complex made out of different houses with different destinations. In addition to the old brewery, there is also a theatre, an Italian restaurant, architecture bureaus, conference spaces... 
There is also a boutique hostel, Pfefferberg hostel, with 24/7 reception and bar, stucked between the typical brewery reddish buildings. As the complex is one step away from the main street, I suppose that the guests of the hotel can get a lot of silence in the middle of an usually busy part of the city. 
From a house to another, there is a lot to see and to photograph. There are enough many people around, many of them curious tourists - like me.
As usually in Berlin, a bit of green can change everything, especially the serious attitude of the buildings, testimonies of the fast forward industrial revolution from the beginning of the last century. 
In one of the houses, I discover an interesting photo exhibition about the former Red Army locations in East Germany, a project of two Italian artists: Stefano Corso and Dario-Jacopo Lagana. Included as part of the events organised this week for Berlin Art Week, it offers some historical insighs about a historical stage that most probably will be soon forgotten. 
But one of the reasons why I am right now around is that I wanted to visit the one and only Berlin's Museum for Architecture Drawings. Opened in 2013, the builing is bordering the Christinenstrasse side of the complex. When I saw it the first time, I was dramatically surprised, for the clear contrast of volumes and style with the rest of the area. It is made of several blocks of cast raw concrete, in a permanent game of regression and progression, with a glass penthouse on the top reflecting the sky. The relief of the facade gives a certain old air to the ensemble. 
Upon entering the lobby, you feel you are in an old English club, with the wooden panels walls and the many interesting architecture books. The foyer is supposed to function as a library, with two of the four floors used as exhibitional spaces. The rest has the function of offices and archives, the property of Tchoban Foundation who is curating the museum. 
This week, there is still running an exhibition of drawings of American architects, among which Lloys Morgan's Waldorf Astoria, the imaginary worlds of Achilles Rizzoli and some plans by Frank Lloyd Wright. The game between natural and artificial lights creates a special ambiance in the building that can inspire creativity and a much longer stay.
As I am about to leave, I spotted the Swedish group of girls on the opposite corner of the building, that keep doing their own drawings of the construction. Envying them for their talent - and patience too for spending such a beautiful autumn afternoon working their assignments - I promise to return for a new exhibition. After all, it is never too late to return to my own architecture childhood dreams. Berlinl is the city of all possibilities, isn't it?

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