Today saw the launch of a project that will enrich both Berlin’s diverse cultural landscape and the international art scene: the start of building work on the future URBAN NATION MUSEUM FOR URBAN CONTEMPORARY ART. In the coming months, a globally unique new centre for exhibitions, research and exchange focussed on one of the most important art forms of the 21st century will emerge.
Berlin’s secretary for cultural affairs, Tim Renner, was on hand to congratulate the initiators of this ambitious plan on behalf of the city government. The internationally unique institution is scheduled to open in mid-2017 in the Wilhelminianera building at Bülowstrasse 7 in Schöneberg. The building will be completely transformed for the purpose. In other words, there won’t be a new building; the existing one will be converted into a museum to the innovative plans of the architecture bureau GRAFT.
The building has long since ceased to look like a normal residential block anyway: over the last three years, it has regularly served as a giant canvas for various stars of the street art scene, including Shepard Fairey, D*Face, Maya Hayuk and The London Police. They were invited to Berlin by URBAN NATION, an initiative that has been networking local and international street artists with great creativity and resounding success since 2013. The idea and the artistic design of the museum are the brainchild of Yasha Young, manager and future director of the museum. URBAN NATION is part of Berliner Leben, a non-profit foundation established in 2013 by Gewobag.
Three Columns of the New Museum are already standing tall: Connect. Create. Care. The motto “Connect. Create. Care.” Is a perfect description of the art initiative’s concept and programme: URBAN NATION operates as an international network that promoted connections between artists, creatives and the public through regular art projects and exhibitions and, at the same time, produces high-quality urban art for Berlin.
Markus Terboven, board member of Gewobag, Thomas Willemeit, Founding Partner GRAFT, Yasha Young, Director URBAN NATION, Tim Renner, secretary for culture of the city of Berlin, Hendrik Jellema, chairman of the board of “Berliner Leben”. (left to right) © URBAN NATION