THE HAUS Berlin: Abandoned Building Taken Over By 165 Street Artists

Set to be demolished in June to make way for an apartment building,THE HAUS in Berlin is a formerly abandoned 5-story building filled with site-specific works by 165 street artists. Dreamed up by artists Kimo, Bolle and Jörni of Die Dixons collective, THE HAUS was once a bank on avenue Kurfürstendamm, but fell into disuse over the years. The artists activated their network of creative contacts to temporarily turn it into a street art free-for-all that’s so popular with visitors, there’s often a two-hour wait outside.

The artists, who range from Berlin locals to international activists, worked almost nonstop from mid-January through March 9th to complete the project, and installations include geometric patterns made of tape, video projections, interactive exhibits and sculpture.

The exhibit opened April 1st, and guided tours run almost all day long on Tuesdays through Sundays with a donation-based, pay-what-you-can system and a ‘no phones’ rule. “Look through your eyes and not through the screen of your phone,” the website urges. You can see each individual installation on THE HAUS website, and learn more about the artists who created them.

Even beyond the art itself, the project is definitely a community effort. Nearly all of the supplies were donated by supportive businesses, and a four-star hotel even put up all the artists free of charge. Berliner Pilsner donated beer. In an interview with Vice’s The Creators Project, Kimo stresses that THE HAUS is “not a marketing joke,” noting that nothing was for sale.

“Feel the freshest urban art gallery ever with a guided tour!” says the site. “108 dope artworks are waiting to be seen, to be experienced and to be memorized by you. Every single piece is created by one of the 165 artists from Berlin and all over the world. But be aware that THE HAUS is created to be destroyed – in the end of May the gallery is going to close and the wrecking ball will follow.”