Nazi bunker reborn as gallery in Berlin

A former World War II bomb shelter in Berlin has been converted by the Polish-born advertising millionaire Christian Boros into a private space which will host rotating displays drawn from his 500-piece contemporary art collection.

Mr Boros, 43, told The Art Newspaper: “Around 100 works will be shown every year. Ten works were created especially for the bunker [such as the installation Construction and Installation of Layered Tar Forms (2002) by Santiago Sierra, above]. All of the works were installed by the artists, there was no curator.”

The businessman bought the bunker in 2003. It was built for Hitler in 1942 by his favourite architect Albert Speer. Mr Boros commissioned Berlin architects Realarchitektur to convert it into a 3,000 sq. m, five-storey gallery. This involved removing 40 of the structure’s 120 original rooms.

“I have been collecting art since I was 18 in a very subjective way. This is why it would be impossible to house my works permanently in a museum,” he said. The 57 artists represented in his collection include Tomma Abts, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Jim Lambie, Sarah Lucas and Tobias Rehberger.

Mr Boros has bought two works especially for the gallery launch by German sculptor Manuela Leinhoss and the Danish artist Olafur Eliasson.

Realarchitektur has also designed a 1,000 sq. m penthouse residence on top of the bunker for the advertising chief. The gallery will be open to the public by appointment

Gareth Harris

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20 Sep 09
14:14 CET


Just for the record, it was designed by Karl Bonatz for the Reich railroad company in 1942, not by Speer, and not personally for Hitler.

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