Artists transform abandoned bank into a five-storey extravaganza

A German art collective convoked 165 artists of various disciplines to collaborate on an old building on Kurfürstendamm, one of Berlin’s busiest avenues.

Each artist was given a space to do whatever they wanted, and the results were mind blowing.

The temporary exposition, titled THE HAUS, was set by street art crew DIE DIXONS in a five-storey former bank located in one of the most commercial districts of the city, the Kudamm.

This singular gallery opened in April and closed about two months later on May 31, just weeks before the building’s scheduled demolition.

The fleeting essence of the project serves as an allegory of the importance of now. Their tag line “created to be destroyed” is a veiled critique of society’s obsession with capturing life’s experiences with a device to be stored and shared and liked, instead of enjoyed in the moment.

As they state on their official website, “THE HAUS was created to be destroyed – so make sure to seize the moment while you still can.

“In a time where people rather show pictures than actually talk about their experiences, THE HAUS is a multisensual experience that will be burnt into your memory.”

Despite this being a short-lived affair, every artwork showed incredible sophistication and craftsmanship. The pieces that comprise THE HAUS don’t appear as ephemeral amusements designed to disappear, on the contrary, they’re so spectacular they look like they were meant to exist forever.

Just take Mario Mankey’s installation “Ego Erectus”, comprised of a monstrous pair of feet breaking down through the ceiling, as if The Big Friendly Giant himself had come to visit. Or what about the work of tape art collective Klebebande, who used more than 2 km of duct tape to transform an empty room into a space that looks straight out of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.

Optical artists, photographers, graffiti creators, sculptors and even VR developers from Germany and abroad went wild across five floors and 108 rooms destined to be destroyed and forgotten, and transformed them into memorable street art that visitors could experience for whatever fee they could afford.

The building with all the artworks inside it was torn down in August 2017  to make way for a residential project.