KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art
The KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art is taking shape in the unconventional space of the former Kindl brewery in Berlin’s Neukölln district. This new art complex covering 5,500 square metres is planned to open in the autumn of 2014 as an exhibition venue for international contemporary art. The Centre is privately funded, and will show temporary exhibitions as well as providing space for events and catering. KINDL intends to both promote new ideas and themes and pick up on existing discourse, taking part in international debates on art while also further enlivening the Neukölln neighbourhood. In September 2014, the Boiler House was successfully inaugurated as the first component of the KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art. The refurbishment of further buildings in the ensemble is currently under way. Since November 2014, architects Dr. Krekeler & Partner have been responsible for the reconstruction. The overall plan and concept for the project were provided by grisard'architektur, Zurich. An inventory of work completed to date has shown that refurbishing and extending these listed buildings will be far more demanding than originally thought. The architects’ new schedule envisages completing the Power House and its three exhibition levels and the new east facade by autumn 2016. Around the same time, the Brew House with the future café will open for business.
In 2011, the German-Swiss couple Burkhard Varnholt and Salome Grisard purchased the former Kindl brewery premises in order to refurbish them for contemporary cultural production. This listed red-brick building was built between 1926 and 1930, in a style reminiscent of German expressionism. It has a seven-storey tower and a 20-metre-high Boiler House, a three-storey Power House, and a Brew House with six brewing coppers. Comprehensive refurbishment began in autumn 2012, including revamping the east facade to form a new entrance area that will combine a sense of tradition and history with new directions in architecture to create a foyer, external stairway and sawtooth roof.
This ensemble of the Power House, Boiler House and Brew House still today bears witness to its first use as a brewery. Rooms and buildings are here clearly characterised by their original use, and can today be rededicated appropriately. The three storeys of the former Power House will provide a space for monographic and thematic exhibitions of international contemporary art, and also for diverse cultural events. The spectacular 20-metre-high Boiler House will be used for artistic interventions and site-specific works. The Brew House with its six enormous coppers (at one time the largest brewing coppers in Europe) will finally once again be open to the people of Neukölln and the general public. Guests will be able to relax in a new café in the former Palace of Berlin Beer Culture, and in the brewery yard there will be a lower-level beer garden under plane trees.
Swiss curator and art critic Andreas Fiedler has been appointed artistic director of the KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art. Fiedler studied art history, philosophy, and educational psychology and has since worked as a freelance curator in charge of numerous exhibitions and projects, including in the Helmhaus Zürich, and the Solothurn and Lucerne art museums. He has worked closely with artists including Darren Almond, Svenja Deininger, Alfredo Jaar and Shirana Shahbazi. Fiedler has also published and edited extensively, and has taught at the Institute for Art History at Berne University. A further focus of his work is art in public spaces.
On September 13, 2014, the KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art opened its first exhibition space in the Boiler House of the former brewery complex.