Design architects:   grisard´ architektur, Zurich
Implementing architect:   Dr. Krekeler Generalplaner GmbH, Brandenburg
Client:   Sudkultur Kulturwerkstatt Berlin GmbH
Burkhard Varnholt, Salome Grisard Varnholt
Occupant:   KINDL– Centre for Contemporary Art
Completion:   2016
Project size:   1,600 m² exhibition space
Lighting budget:   250,000 euros

Henning Stauch 3, 5-8, 10 
Nathan Willock 1, 2, 4, 9


The former Kindl brewery in a new light

The former site of the Kindl brewery in Berlin-Neukölln has been hosting international contemporary art exhibitions since 2016. The transformation of the brewery into the "KINDL - Center for Contemporary Art" was the brainchild of the German-Swiss couple Salome Grisard Varnholt and Burkhard Varnholt, who acquired and renovated the listed engine house, brewhouse, tower and boiler house in 2011. The industrial monument sports more than 1,600 square meters of exhibition space. The challenge was to find simple, architecture highlighting light proposals for the various spatial characteristics within the brewery.

The three-storey former machine house complete with Prussian vaulted ceiling is illuminated by spotlights on suspended tracks. On the third floor, the visitor is exposed to a daylight-flooded room with a saw tooth roof. Here, integrated indirect, linear lighting provides diffuse general lighting in addition to wall washers or spotlights for additional accentuation.

With its generous dimensions (20 m x 20 m x 20 m), the boiler house is suitable for the display of particularly large exhibits and provides an inviting atmosphere through the one-sided floor-to-ceiling glazing. In keeping with the aesthetics of the room, which remains relatively uncluttered, it is equipped with technical wall trusses, which house variable spotlights.

In addition to the exhibition rooms, the brewery's former brewhouse provides a strong visual impression thanks to its six gigantic copper kettles. The room, which looks like a setting from a James Bond film, is illuminated with high-performance LED profiles which are positioned in two staggered light coves and from the central element within the ceiling. Behind the light ceiling made of simple satinised polycarbonate double-skin sheets, concealed linear LED fixtures provide a cost-effective solution with atmospheric lighting effects.

In the warmer months, the beer garden in the courtyard gives guests the option to relax and linger. From here, the view of the brick façade with its tall, slim window niches illuminated by in-ground luminaires creates a magnificent impression. Small surface-mounted lights illuminate the windowsills of the tower and mark the building in an identity-creating urban environment.

The images show the exhibition “Defying Gravity “ by Taiyo Onorata & Nico Krebs, 25.3.2018 – 15.07.2018.

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