Contemporary Swedish photography museum Fotografiska announced plans to launch its newest outpost in Berlin less than one year after opening a CetraRuddy-renovated satellite center in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood.
While Fotografiska New York spans six floors and 45,000 square feet, Fotografiska Berlin will reportedly be even larger, covering 59,000 square feet. It is expected to open in 2022 in the Kunsthaus Tacheles, a 1908 department store that was later converted into a Nazi prison during World War II, then partially demolished, then renovated as a sprawling gallery and sculpture park from 1990 to 2012.
Because the Kunsthaus Tacheles is a cultural heritage site with a long history, the multinational firm Herzog & de Meuron, which has been tapped for the building’s renovation, won’t be completely overhauling the center. According to a press release, while the facade and certain rooms will be rehabilitated, the team will keep damage sustained in World War II intact. Although specifics haven’t been released yet, Fotografiska has written that certain “artistic choices” from the building’s 32-year occupation by a post-Cold War artist’s colony will be retained as well; no word on whether that includes the colorful murals that adorn the building’s exterior.
“My wish is to redefine the classical concept of the museum,” wrote the Berlin-based Yoram Roth, a majority owner of Fotografiska. “I want it to be a cultural center that is also part of the cultural scene as a whole. Fotografiska does not want to be a repository of art in silent, holy halls, but instead a place of vibrant, creative interaction and promote constructive dialogue with the community outside its doors. Simply entertaining our audience with photography is not enough to my mind: Fotografiska wants to foster and initiate changes. innovation, inclusion, inspiration, and sustainability are core elements of our work in this regard.”
This will be the fourth Fotografiska since the museum was founded in Stockholm in 2010. Both the New York and Tallinn, Estonia, branches opened in 2019, and the Berlin location is expected to debut in 2022.