Published on 28.04.2022

Temporary emotionalization of places

The story and vision of POP KUDAMM as seen by its architectural author - POP Talk with Wolfram Putz from GRAFT Architects

Here we are! 35 overseas containers of the former PLATOON Kunsthalle Berlin have found their new harbor at POP KUDAMM. Stacked together and on top of each other, they form the backdrop for Berlin’s new Place of Participation – a space for art and culture right in the heart of the city. A sparkling eye-catcher that draws all the attention with its architectural configuration and silver façade, and fills the gap in the building with urban art, culture & lifestyle.

The author of this unique design is GRAFT Architects. Creative mastermind that is internationally known for its dynamic, flexible and sustainable architecture and has been entrusted with the design and realization of a variety of projects since its founding in 1998. Projects that have repeatedly been created specifically on the basis of modular constructions using containers, such as the BRLO Brwhouse, the PLATOON Kunsthalle Seoul and Berlin and now newly: POP KUDAMM.

What architecturally happens here at POP KUDAMM is summed up by GRAFT founding partner Wolfram Putz in a simple formula:

“Accents are set at this location.” It is “a signal for the city’s future, which is made visible by the prominence of architecture in the gap” and directs attention to urban development issues. Issues such as, “true sustainability and intermingling,” the “disruption of places through the creation of attractors,” and the “temporary emotionalization of a place by using empty spaces in the city,”.Nutzung von Leerräumen in der Stadt.“

POP KUDAMM is “Architecture Installation Art.” A real point of attraction in Berlin’s cityscape. What makes POP KUDAMM a highlight for Wolfram Putz are the “two scales: on the one hand the courtyard in front, with an almost village-like scale, and behind that the large imposing hall.” In addition, as nowhere else in the area, the “great reflective surface and the game with light that results from it.” These factors create an “additional phenomenon” and create “difference instead of repitition” at Kurfürstendamm.

For Wolfram Putz, this is precisely what makes modular construction with containers attractive.

“Architecture is about recognizable design, revelation of storytelling with a wide variety of different stages from prologue to epilogue. Containers let us have a great reuse of architectures. We go from one place to another with container buildings and continue stories somewhere else.”

And what does this story-writing mean for POP KUDAMM, the “Versailles on Punk” as it was once named by the team? It’s the story that unfolds and makes urban development something to grasp. Here on 700 square meters in the middle of Berlin. A creative experience of the city and its future in exhibitions, performances, talks, pop-ups and events, and with all the people who are bringing this place to life.

“As architects, we stand up for the symphony of cities. Construction is not just about functionality, but also always about the combination of dynamics, social polyphony and emotions.” To be experienced live at POP KUDAMM. In Art, Science & Architecture.



Portrait Wolfram Putz: © Mario Heller

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