For many years before the fall of the Wall, the East side of Berlin was grey and soulless. The events in November 1989 changed that and we have immersed ourselves in the contrasts that were created.
The Berlin of today has evolved into a beautiful city but the signs of time’s passing are still easily found. It is a city with huge constructional contrasts in both design and choice of colours. The grey tones pay reference to the Berlin Wall and the darker shades of the city before the fall, and serve as a source of inspiration for our collection. The older parts of East Berlin are a particularly stimulating part of the city to discover if you on the hunt for these contrasts between old and new, light and dark. The area is built on foundations of dated, grey buildings but when the reunion between east and west took place, all the different cultures and colours from the West flowed across the border.
Many of the former working districts in East Berlin were built in the late 1800s with wide streets and pleasant green spaces within walking distance of Alexanderplatz. In many ways it was forward-thinking neighbourhoods, which generated a lot of innovation and creativity. But when the Wall was built, much of this creative endeavour was curbed and the areas was frozen in time. But now years after the reunification areas such as Prenzlauer Berg have blossomed again. This shows how the reunion produced beautiful areas in the old East Berlin.
Bohemians, artists and young people frequent this district, and it shows. In Kollwitzstrasse 17 you will find one of Europe’s largest organic supermarkets selling goods ranging from clothes to cosmetics and food. If you want a more mentally stimulating shopping experience, Kulturbrauerei in Schönhauser Allé is a must. The old brewery round offers book readings, concerts, film screenings and creative workshops. No beer is here brewed anymore – now it’s a site for culture to grow.
At Kollwitzplatz you will find Russian restaurants with elegant interiors. Blinis are served, and you can hear Russian being spoken. From the restaurant there is a free view of the old water tower, part of which was used by the Nazis as one of their first concentration camps. In the East Berlin of today, the building has been converted into apartments and now forms a part of a hip and trendy district.
This liberation has given a whole new life to the city, but everywhere there are references to the history pre-1989. This contrast between the old and new Berlin make the city a historical wonder. The reunion awakened the city of Berlin to life again, with its cultural imports from both East and West. All this has made Berlin into the beautiful and inspiring city it is today.