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.
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Objektdesign: Penthouse (customized furniture): Instantconcept, Wuppertal
Steel and facades:
Glazing: Linther Glas (Flachglas)
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
Elektrik controls: GIRA, Ackermann