In the former hub of the GDR’s “Department of Transportation” where party officials once gathered, artists and craftsmen now work side by side.
In 2013, the collector couple Axel and Barbara Haubrok acquired the former motor pool and opened the historic site to the public: since then, a creative quarter has emerged on the nearly 20,000-square-meter site.
It’s not only artist studios and workshops that have settled here, but also the Haubrok Foundation’s exhibition spaces. The mingling of businesses, studios and rehearsal rooms gives the courtyard its special charm.
After a forced hiatus, the Haubroks have since last fall been welcoming visitors to openings in Lichtenberg once again. Visitors can experience the peaceful, unpretentious atmosphere up close. The best part? At the heart of it all, the Haubroks present museum-quality art on a rotating basis - including works by big names such as Martin Crew, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Karin Sander and Wolfgang Tillmans. In addition, the interior of the motor pool has been partially preserved in its original 1970s condition and is worth a visit for that reason alone. Those who sign up for a guided tour will not only see the exhibition, but also get a glimpse of the historical highlights the space has to offer: a casino with bar, a bowling alley and even a sauna - all from GDR times. Outside, in the courtyard, the loud grinding of tools mixes with music: the garages arranged around the site now serve as workplaces for craftsmen and artists. In addition to a print shop, a framing workshop and an auto paint shop, more than 30 artists also work here.
A detour to the Dong Xuan Center a few doors down is a must in Lichtenberg: The Asian wholesale market offers everything you need for your pantry and things you didn't even know existed. And, of course, a big bowl of Phở, a Vietnamese soup speciality that will fortify you for the way home.
You can't complain about too little choice here: with 3.5 million media, the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin is the largest of its kind in Germany. And there are many ways to experience that media; in the Amerika Gedenkbibliothek you can find far more than only books.