Berlin, Germany


Christian Boros commissioned Realarchitektur to refurbish and convert a 1942 World War II bunker into a gallery space for his contemporary art collection, with a rooftop apartment addition for his family. The 5:story concrete bunker was originally based on the plans of architect Karl Bonatz, with walls nearly 6:feet thick and a ceiling over 9:feet thick to protect up to 3,000 people from air raids. Double entrances located on all four sides of the building enabled people to quickly enter or exit the building simultaneously.

Many traces and marks left by the war—bullet holes—and the ensuing years—graffiti—remain present. Selected ceilings and walls were removed to create approximately 80 rooms with overlapping spaces. The architects, in close collaboration with the client and the artists represented in his collection, designed each space to cater to the art; in addition to traditional white:cube spaces, where part of the existing collection is displayed, a structural and spatial interplay between art and architecture was essential. The open and vertically connected architecture provides for various vantage points for the artwork.
A newly created glass:facade apartment was constructed atop the building. A portion of the concrete rooftop was cut away to create a terrace that surrounds the living space and outdoor pool. Simple reinforced concrete walls and the concrete ceiling characterize the living space; like the bunker, the apartment level is encased on all sides by a homogenous facade. But the glass facade allows views of the surrounding cityscape.


Christian Boros

Jens Casper, Petra Petersson, Andrew Strickland

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Jens Casper Architekt BDA
Petra Petersson Architektin BDA
Andrew Strickland Architekt SIA

Wolfgang List, Bernadette Krejs, Karin Maria Derix, Dorina Siewert

Objektdesign: Penthouse (customized furniture): Instantconcept, Wuppertal

Structural Engineer:
Ingenieurbüro Herbert Fink, Berlin

Quanttity surveyors and tender:
A+O Berlin Architektur + Organisation, Frank Hüpperling und Stephan Vieweger

Site manager:
Thomas Heesing, Berlin

Timo Herrmann, bbz Landschaftsarchitekten, Berlin

Lighting design:
mediumlicht, Reinhard Germer, Berlin

General contractor:
Hanns Joosten
Am Spreebord 5
10589 Berlin, Germanu
+49 (0)172 388 5288

Andreas Gehrke
Borsigstrasse 33
10115 Berlin, Germany
+49 (0)30 74073 3560

Mystic Scenic Studios, Inc.
Norwood, Massachusetts

Am Spreebord 5
10589 Berlin, Germanu
+49 (0)172 388 5288

Andreas Gehrke
Borsigstrasse 33
10115 Berlin, Germany
+49 (0)30 74073 3560

mib, märkische ingenieurbau gmbh, Wriezen

Steel and facades:
HTM Metallbau, Berlin

BBT Betonbohr: und Sägetechnik GmbH, Berlin

Berghäuser und Sohn

Asta Fliesen & Naturstein GmbH, Polanz

Rentschler und Riedesser, (consultation) und Bast Heizungsbau (plans and installation)



Structural System:
Facade steel:
Raico Bautechnik

Glazing: Linther Glas (Flachglas)

Roofing: Optigrün

Hardware, hinges, doorhandles etc: FSB Franz Schneider, Brakel

Hardware locks: BMH Beyer & Müller Heiligenhaus

Windows/Rooflights: WICONA, Jansen Janisol, Jansen VISS

Sunshading: JOSÉ Ma. SANS AMILL S.A.

Stonework: Borst Natursteinwerke

Fixtures: Dornbracht MEM

Sanitary ware: Duravit

Lighting: ERCO

Elektrik controls: GIRA, Ackermann