The central deaconess institute ‚Bethanien‘ was constructed during the years 1845-47, commissioned by the pious King Friedrich Wilhelm IV who was known as the ‚romantic of the Prussian throne‘. In 1843 he reintroduced the Society of Our Lady (Order of Swan) that his forefather, Kurfürst Friedrich II of Brandenburg had founded four hundred years previously. One of his tasks was to construct an institute for educating nurses and carers „which, as a model for other similar institutions, would be affiliated with a home for the sick.“ Persius came up with the first designs for the deaconess institute which included 500 beds, a training school for the sisters and an orphanage. Following Persius‘ death, his colleague Stein took over construction management under the direction of Stüler, a student of Schinkel. Following Stein‘s revised plans, a wide horseshoe shaped complex was created in a short period of time, the bulky main core of which was surmounted by two slim 35 metre high towers. When, in accordance with his instructions, the house was handed over for use in October 1847, it lay just inside of the city border in the midst of gardens and rye fields. Just 50 years on, around the turn of the century, Bethanien and the park designed by Lénne were embedded within a dense city structure. The population of Berlin had multiplied almost five-fold, going from 365,000 up to 1.700,00. The hospital was in use until 1970.
A vehement „Battle of Bethanien“ began when the hospital was closed down in 1970. The planned demolition of much of the institution and the reconstruction, which included the construction of social housing projects, was hindered by squatters, citizens’ initiative groups and historic building conservationists. Since 1973 it is predominantly cultural, artistic and social institutions working in the main building.
Since 2009 the GSE (Gesellschaft für Stadtentwicklung gGmbH) took over the management of the building. Aside from Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, there are the BBK Berlin Printmakers' Workshop, artist studios, project spaces for exhibitions and theater and dance, the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Music School:
Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien – Contemporary Art Exhibitions
Tel.:+49-(0)30-90298-1455, Fax: 90298-1453
Opening hours: Daily 12 -7 pm
Director: Stéphane Bauer
Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien presents group shows and topical exhibitions that deal with cutting edge social and cultural processes and their relation to contemporary art. Central aspects here include the contextualisation of projects that take diversity, internationality and local issues into consideration.
With an exhibition area of 450 square metres and over 200 metres of hanging space, the rooms fulfil the spatial requirements for medium-sized shows. Around six exhibition projects are realised per year, currently in collaboration with cooperative institutions, curators or artist groups. The exhibitions are accompanied by guided tours, films, discussions and artists‘ talks. Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien is a facility of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district council.
Projektraum and Studio1
Tel.: +49-(0)30-49 30 63 37, Fax: +49-(0)30-49 30 63 33
Contact: Anke Schuster
The former library in Bethanien (ground floor, ca. 220M2, 6 adjoining rooms) has been used sporadically for exhibitions since the closure fo the Namik Kernal Library at the end of 2002. As of 1st May 2009, this room can been rented for public exhibitions and events under the name ‚Projektraum‘. Studio1 (660m2 on the 1st and 2nd floor), known as the former chapel of Bethanien, is also available to rent.
The Mieterrat AG decided in collaboration with GSE to rent out these spaces. Priority is given to the following types of projects and exhibitions: curated or concept related group exhibitions; curated thematic projects and exhibitions; exhibitions by art schools; results of cultural education projects.
Entrance to the exhibitions should be free and you are invited to send you project ideas to us via Email.
bbk berlin Printmakers’ Workshop
Tel.: +49-(0)30-61 40 15-70, Fax: +49-(0)30-61 40 15-74
Opening hours: Monday 1 - 9 pm; Tuesday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm
Director: Mathias Mrowka
The BBK Berlin‘s printmakers’ workshop was opened in 1955 and was, using public means, developed in 1973 in Bethanien to be open to all artists. It is the most extensive, non-commercial artistic printmakers’ workshop world- wide. All known printing techniques such as screen-printing, offset print, et- ching, woodcutting, lithography and photography can be performed here, as well as combinations of these. Papermaking, bookbinding, catalogue printing and book printing, are also available. The BBK Berlin printmakers’ workshop is open to all artists. A price-list for material and additional services can be made available on request at the appropriate department.
www.momentumworldwide.org, email@example.com Opening hours: Mittwoch bis Sonntag 13 bis 19 Uhr
Director: Dr. Rachel Rits-Volloch
MOMENTUM is a global platform for time-based art, including a Gallery, Salon, Collection, Residency, Public Art initiative, and worldwide Network. By enabling exhibition, discussion, collection, creation, and exchange, as the world speeds up, and time itself seems to ow faster, MOMENTUM explores how time-based art re ects the digitization of our societies and the resulting cultural change.
KünstlerInnen des Atelierprogramms
www.kunstquartier-bethanien.de/atelierprogramm.html und www.bbk-kulturwerk.de, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel.: +49-(0)30-23 08 99 20
The studios are not open to the public and can only be accessed in agreement with the artists themselves.
The Berlin studio programme, developed by the BBK Berlin Kulturwerk Atelierbüro in cooperation with the Berlin Senate and partners, currently has over 830 funded, rent- and occupancy-controlled studios and studio ats. Since the 1st of September 2010, 16 of those studios are in Kunstquartier Bethanien, and are allocated as part of the studio programme.
The studios are allocated for longer terms. Info: www.bbk-kulturwerk-de, atelierbüro@bbk-kulturwerk.de , Tel: 030-23 08 99 20
Current artists are:
Özlem Altin, Tania Bedrinana, Henning Bohl, Thomas Bratzke, Agnieszka Brzezanska, Daniela Comani, Brad Downey and Matthew Murphy, Annette Hollywood, Eunji Kim, Achim Kobe, Karoline Koeppe, Marisa Maza, Stephanie Mohnhaupt, Andrea Pichl, Gabriela Volanti, Nasan Tur
Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg music school
Tel.:+49-(0)30-90 298-14 31, Fax.: 90 298-14 35
Consultation times: Tuesday, 10-12 am; Thursday 2-6 pm
Director: Ina Finger
The Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg music school is one of the largest communal music schools in Berlin. The teaching program ranges from initial contact sessions for parent/children groups (taster courses) to targeted preparation for further music studies. There are lessons in almost all types of instru- ments, in classical music as well as within the eld of jazz, rock, pop and non-European music. Aside from individual or group lessons, there are advanced courses to acquire and deepen theory, listening and musicology knowledge, amongst other things. There is a chance to play in diverse ensembles, such as chamber orchestras, big bands, diverse choirs, ensembles for early music, 20th century classical music ensembles and dance amongst many other formats. The multifaceted events take on all sizes, from small (scholar presentations) to larger scale events, displaying the high level of musical education available at the music school that ultimately succeeds in enriching the musical and cultural ambience of the district.