Many of the art lovers would probably agree that art spaces are as important as the art that is exposed in them. Space can improve or even “destroy” an artwork. In my opinion, The Boros Collection in Berlin has just the right balance between the space and the private collection of contemporary art that it holds.
The Boros Collection (Sammlung Boros in German) is housed in a bunker built during World War II at Reinhardstrasse 20 in the central Mitte area of Berlin. It has morphed through the years starting as bomb-proof shelter (Reichsbahnbunker), turning into a soviet jail, becoming a textile warehouse, then exotic fruit storage and even a famous techno club after the reunification of Germany during the 90s.
Traces of all these times have been preserved after a full restructuring took place in early 2000. A Berlin-based architectural practice “Realarchitecture” was contacted by Christian and Karen Boros who acquired the old bunker with an idea to convert it into a unique art space.
After years of reconstruction works The Boros Collection was officially opened in 2008. Nearly three thousand square meters are now dedicated to the art exhibition. The displayed artworks are newly curated every four years and collection “Bunker Berlin ♯3” is currently on view with works by 19 German and international artists. “♯3” introduces newly purchased and site-specific works in combination with works from the 1990s and 2000.
Apart from private viewings, the visiting of The Boros Collection is by guided tours only and you can book a tour in advance on their official website (usually all dates are fully booked at least a month in advance). However, there is a small exception during the two days of the Berlin Art Week when it is possible to visit the bunker without a previous booking for groups.
I usually enjoy wandering by myself so I was very happy to be able to visit The Boros Collection on these days without a group nor guiding. Instead, all of the 80 gallery spaces had their own guides available to answer any of the questions visitors might have.
To begin with, the space is really huge and the labyrinthic way of distributing the multitude of rooms makes it feel even larger. As one of the friendly guides explained to me, at some parts of the bunker up to three floors were joined together and thanks to that large scale art like an installation by Katja Novitskova (cover photo) or paintings by Avery Singer can be enjoyed with perfect distance and even from different levels.
I found two sets of double stairways on different sides of the bunker which joined the five floors of The Boros Collection space. Slowly I have circled the entire area and was happy to find art all around it. I especially enjoyed a selection of works in different media by Fabian Marti, Uwe Henneken´s wooden sculptures and a top floor by Paulo Nazareth dedicated to an interesting exhibition exploring artists’ African roots with video, installation and an analogic printing shop available for the visitors.
After my visit I can only confirm that The Boros Collection is absolutely worth a visit even if you have to book your ticket with so much time in advance. I guess I will be doing exactly that in 2021 when the new exhibition will take place.
For more information check the official website.
The visits are from Thursday to Sunday and there is no telephone signal in all bunker probably due to its 3 meter thick walls (no distractions while enjoying art).