Published by Lurleen Kirkwood
One of the most impacting cities I’ve had the privilege of spending time in is, without doubt, Berlin. On a recent holiday in Europe, we spent almost a week there.
There is a tenacity and boldness within it’s population that was arresting and despite it’s sometimes horrific past, it has a confidence that makes you sit up and take notice.
It’s a city that has endured two world wars and the decadence of the interwar period was marked by a hedonistic lifestyle and a fear of death.
In 1961 the Berlin Wall was built between east and west Berlin and its subsequent tearing down came twenty eight years later. It is a city that has known great sadness and loss yet despite this, it has become known as a world leader in the area of the arts.
Berlin style is a quirky aesthetic of the unglamourous, a new form of German understatement with a confidence projected by the city. Artists from all over the world began to flock to Berlin in the 1990’s, finding there affordable studios – dealers and collectors followed soon after.
The architecture of Berlin reflects the city’s turbulent history. Baroque and Neoclassical, houses from the Grunderzeit period, and modern architecture – all these styles influence the face of the city.
It is true that local history also influences the work of designers in Berlin more than almost any other major world metropolis. Over the years, a very independent design scene has taken shape despite having almost no connection to local industry, which only returned sporadically after the war.
Did I enjoy our time there? Most definitely! But more than that, it’s been a reminder of the strength of the human spirit to rise up and build again!
Credits: AAD Berlin City Guide teNeues