Anupam Bansal,
Malini Kochupillai

Architectural Guide


Maholy Nagy

Internationale Zeitschrift
Für Visuelle Kultur

( English, German, French, Czech)


Wilfried Wang,
Dan Sylvester

Hans Scharoun

Berlin 1956-1963



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Ruine der Künste Berlin (The Arts Ruin)


The Arts' Ruin

Mittelhof Country-House

Kleist's Grave

Gallery Mutter Fourage

Exotic Herb Garden


In the last days of the war, the villa at 5 Hittorfstraße in Dahlem, a southern district of Berlin, was hit by numerous bullets. It still carries these scars today. Between 1981 and 1985 a new house was built inside the old one, the “Ruine der Künste Berlin.” 
The architect, director and media artist Professor Wolf Kahlen of the Technical University, explains that it was built in sympathy with the ruin. He views the building as an extended studio that is also there for others to use. A collection of enamel signs with the artists’ names and their projects fills the expanse of a wall from the cellar to the roof, informing visitors about artistic events that have taken place in the “Ruine”. 
There is an inherent sense of a building site in the heating that has been installed, and also in the wooden floors and plastered walls. The effect is that of an improvised workplace, which is not meant to detract from the underlying theme of decay. A similar picture presents itself in the garden. The stone and glass installations are hardly capable of diverting attention from the deterioration of the stately old house. The coexistence of decay and creation in this gallery is an exciting experience, and the dynamic balance of extreme polarities is the theme of Wolf Kahlen’s creative work.
In 2005, the artist established a further arts space in Bernau, a small town just north-east of Berlin; it is known as the Wolf Kahlen Museum Bernau. As a museum of intermedia arts, it is dedicated to exhibiting the artist’s own works. Regular opening hours are Friday to Sunday 2-6 p.m.



Address: Hittorfstr. 5, 14195 Berlin, +49 (0)30 8313708,
Hours of opening: by appointment
Bus, Tube, Tram: U3 Thielplatz; Bus 110 U Thielplatz