KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein n.b.k.
About the location
The Atelierhaus in the historic Monbijou Park is the main exhibition venue for based in Berlin.
The building, which has been refurbished for the exhibition, will for the last time host this 1,500 m2 contemporary art exhibition before its demolition in August. Monbijou Park, situated on what is now Oranienburger Straße, has had an eventful history. In the Middle Ages there was a large farm and dairy on the site, which was then outside Berlin’s city walls. The farm and dairy were destroyed during the Thirty Years War. In the mid-17th century, the Elector of Brandenburg’s wife set up a model farm on the site, to which a summerhouse and garden were added.
At the beginning of the 18th century, the estate was further expanded with the addition of a small palace and park in late-baroque style and was given the French name Monbijou — my jewel. Soon afterwards, Friedrich the Great had Monbijou substantially rebuilt and extended by architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, who had also built Sanssouci. In 1786 it became the main residence of Queen Friederike Luise, who died in Monbijou in 1805. After her death the palace was used for cultural events and in 1820 it became the Museum Vaterländische Alterthümer (Museum of National Antiquities). With the expansion of its collections, Kaiser Wilhelm I decreed that the 42-room palace be turned into the Hohenzollern museum in 1877. The museum was open to the public until it was largely destroyed in a bombing raid in November 1943. Its ruins stood until 1959, when Mitte’s local council ordered their complete demolition, despite the opposition of historic monument conservationists and strong protests by museum experts and many Berliners.
Monbijou Park’s post-war history was marked by three planning phases, in 1951, 1958 and 1973. The 1951 plans took up an idea that had already been raised in Hans Scharoun's urban "collective plan" and aimed to establish a centre for young people there. According to this the plan was to build childcare facilities and student residencees. It was also planned that the banks of the River Spree would be turned into green space.
The Atelierhaus in Monbijoupark’s basic structure also dates from this period. Only at the end of the 1950s was the Zentrale Werkstätten Berlin am Institut für bildende Kunst (Berlin Central Workshops of the Institute for Fine Arts) further developed and set up as an art studio. It was used by students from the Weisensee Kunsthochschule Berlin as a production studio and temporary exhibition space until March 2011. In 1958, work began due to “pressure from local authorities and the instigation of construction authorities to rebuild the park as part of the national reconstruction.” This project was called “Volkspark Monbijou” (Monbijou People’s Park). The children’s swimming pool was built in accordance with the wishes of local residents, some of whom also helped build the complex, and most of the trees planted at that time. In 1973 the ‘Volkspark’ became a “Leisure and Recreation Center,” with new small-scale sports facilities, playgrounds, a shooting range, and a park restaurant and sports hall. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Monbijou Park was considered as a possible site for a National Garden Show or for redevelopment, plans which were not carried out as a result of a “social study” on the importance of permanent green spaces and parks. In 1998 the park was given protected status during the process of applying for the World Heritage title for the adjacent Museum Island. (Source: Report on the construction and planning history of the Monbijou People’s Park 1949-1989 by Dr. Simone Hain, Berlin)
Exhibiting artists→Aids 3D
→Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda
→Michele Di Menna
→Jan Peter Hammer
Mon - Sun 12pm - 12am
How to get there
U8 (Rosenthaler Platz)
U8 (Weinmeister Straße)
U6 (Oranienburger Tor)
S3, S5, S7, S75 (Hackescher Markt)
S1, S2, S25 (Oranienburger Straße)