I Spy with my little eye…. Teufelsberg – Abandoned Berlin

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There are a million and one photos on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, various blogs and websites, so many that it is not an exaggeration to say this is Berlin’s very worst kept secret in the abandoned bracket. It is no secret. It is more of a secret that Kanye West has something on his mind than it is that this massively beautiful eyesore exists.

Since going to abandoned places in Berlin is pretty much in every guide and actually has become monetised fairly quickly, you can visit this one with zero issue. Basically send an email to these guys, then turn up and pay your Euros and then head in.

Teufelsberg Spy towers

Teufelsberg Spy towers

Little potted history, the website does it best so I’ll suggest you hit this jump to find out more…

In the beginning….

– 1915 – Bloody great big green space called Grunweld Forrest, lovely and calm, animals, walking, pretty etc.

– 1937 – That bloke Hitler, the one who was a total git, well he ignored the forrest contract from Prussian times and decided this would be a part of his master plan, he wanted this to be the gateway to his ‘New World Capital’. Basically a huge military technical facility, you can only imagine what the tiny tached one had planned.

– 1945 – Hitler gets defeated, but not before the building had started, but what to do with the partially build city….

– 1951 – Berlin had taken a bit of a flaying and there was an awful lot of rubble and debris that needed to be moved from Berlin city and burbs in order to regenerate. A solution was come up with, fill in the planned Hitler military buildings and pile the debris on top. They did so and it reached 115 metres, Basically a man made hill / mini mountain, the plan was for this to become a ski resort of sorts. That didn’t happen, as it the story of Berlin’s recent existence, things just don’t quite happen, maybe they tried to start work on a Monday.

-1963 – Instead of skiing the Americans and the Brits decided to use this as the perfect position to spy on our Ruskie brothers and sisters, to find out if they had any plans for world domination or the like brewing.

Then…. Well a company tried to turn it into a big hotel, that failed thankfully. Now it is owned privately and maintained for the general public to take their cameras to and look around.

Tour is nice, about an hour for 7 Euro with no information and 12 Euro for the more detailed version. You will get to go to the very top, where the views over the largely flat Berlin are spectacular, you can see all the way to the city and the iconic TV Tower is easily spotted on a good day. On top of this there will be a bunch of street artists adding to the array of paint you can shoot, and any budding graf artists can email to apply to paint there themselves, there is plenty of space so long as you don’t mind people shooting you doing it.

Closest station is SBahn Grunewald then you have a walk of about 25 minutes through a forrest.

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Roof top vibes…. – Ben Slow & Carl Cashman colab

Roof tops should used for pirate radio station ariels (in the 80’s and 90’s), wafty bars to sip over priced gin based cocktails and now wonderous artistic endeavours.

Friend of SF Ben Slow teamed up with Carl Cashman to put this rather spiffing piece of aesthetic eye candy on the roof of Jealous gallery in London.

Blub – Top Abandoned Berlin Sight Seeing in Neukolln

Blub wave machine

Blub wave machine

The SF team have been all over the Abandoned Berlin vibes this summer, the sunshine in this city is to be taken advantage of and these are not places so easy to access when the dead of winter kicks in. We might have been getting to the point of saturation, they’re cool and all that but there is only so much smashed glass, tags, graf and general mess that you can see before you need to go to a nice sanitary gallery where they have electricity and the glass is fully formed.

Blub skate park

Blub skate park

A change to this is a much less well known place in Neukölln, one that is relatively new and one which is a sight to behold in the later summer sunshine. Blub (Berliner Luft und Badeparadies) situated just off of Buschkrugalle was first opened in 1984 at a cost of over 44 million Marks, and over the years was added to and changed around, but the main gist of it is an indoors (and a little outdoors) aqua land. It boasted huge swimming pools, a wave machine, water slides, fountains, steam rooms, saunas, water dooms and much more besides.

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SF can only imagine what this water world would have been like in its pomp for a kid of 14 years of age. It was taking over 600,000 visitors a year at one point, but then the tide turned. It begs the question as to why it is not still open today? Well according to my research (limited to Wiki and a bit of random blog searching) it was down to two things.

Former waterslide

Former waterslide

A turf war between local youths. Imagine, like being in the London Fields Estate and the kids battling over C*nts Corner or who ran the gate at the lido.

Rats, apparently it became unsanitary and overrun by the little disease carrying fuzz balls. SF is guessing that neither are conducive to a nice family day out.

Wooden walkways

Wooden walkways

Blub is hidden nicely off the road, the wooden elevated walkway entrances look like something from Hook, you expect Rufio to swing in at any minute.

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All around the building is covered with greenery, tress, plants and bushes that hide the building, so on arrival you would be forgiven for thinking it was a bit piss-poor-small. Guess again this thing is huge and once inside you can get an image in your head of what pandemonium went on. It is also right by Teltow canal, there lies the problem, those pesky rats venturing away from their water and taking over the human space. By 2003 some parts had to be closed because of the infestation. The places is getting a little less attractive now.

Added to this the kiddie turf war, bombing and aggressive splashing (assumption) was rife, some kids even resorting to water bombs (probably). Shit had got real and the only solution was to bring in security, yup water henchmen. Big dudes in black wraparound glasses, goatees and living on a diet of roods and Red Bull, patrolling the pool to keep the warning mini factions apart.

Skate channels

Skate channels

From 2002, slowly but surely areas were closed until in 2012 everything was shut. Apparently the area has been sold for flat redevelopment but until then it is worth a visit, it is certainly getting better known now, on our second visit there were hoards of Turkish kids running riot and skaters from 14 to 40 dropping in to the swimming pools.

Sauna graffiti

Sauna graffiti

Some of the artwork adorning the walls is pretty impressive and you will likely see some artists underway if you visit. It is as always a little bashed up, but not totally…. yet.

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SF even managed to get a souvenir. The original price board which had not been tagged or smashed, well we figured we might as well save something from the looters.

Original price board, in Deutsch Marks

Original price board, in Deutsch Marks

Abandoned Berlin – Kaserne Krampnitz – Former Nazi / Russian Military Base – PT II – Das Graffiti

Ok, SF admits that the level of updates have been have been about as regular as a constipated elephant, but much like our big eared friend, you are about to get a stinking load right now.

In PT II we will bring you the other side of Krampnitz, the one that PT I did not cover so much. And that is the paint on walls, from unfinished to full pieces, from tags to political statements on Nazis and Cold War Russia, you got the lot in this series of buildings. See below for a few we picked out.

From one of the many huge warehouses - artist unknown

From one of the many huge warehouses – artist unknown

Unknown artist

Unknown artist

Certainly no garden of Eden

Certainly no garden of Eden

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Fact

Fact

Love these wise old dudes

Love these wise old dudes

Cock sure

Cock sure

Teardrops

Teardrops

These are original Russian updates to Krampnitz, once the Nazi troops had gone they wanted to make it feel a little more at home… we guess

 

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Russian re-fit

Russian re-fit

 

ROA in Berlin

One of the most prolific and well travelled artists around, and one of the easiest to spot, purely because his style is like no other and the scale means they are near enough impossible to miss. Beit in London, Berlin, France, the US or in the southern hemisphere, Seeing a ROA piece is a feast for the eyes.

 

Berlin has long been a playground for the taggers, graffiti artists and paste-up merchants of Europe, but very few can boast such huge pieces, maybe Blu is the only rival. ROA usually paints animals and birds and uses a small pallet of colour, usually just black, white, grey and sometimes red, then uses shading and lines to bring them to life.

 

SF features two piece today…. the well known and the slightly newer.

The iconic Kreuzberg piece of 2011

The iconic Kreuzberg piece of 2011

Like a rat up a drain pipe in Prenzlauer Alle

Like a rat up a drain pipe in Prenzlauer Alle

Hidden East London Gems

Two artists seen all across the Eastend and are possibly the most recognisable. Finding a new and hidden gem is quite a feat and something SF enjoyed this week during brisk walks around the sun baked streets of London.

Many a street art tour has sprung up showing the usual well trodden pathes so it is nice to be able to seek out some lesser seen pieces. Canals, high rises and general shit holes are the perfect places to find these

We give you Phlegm found not a million miles from Old Street roundabout

Terrible twins

Terrible twins

And a personal SF fave, a certain Stik a cheeky lil number, well hidden and just off of Mare St. You will have to work a bit to find this gem

Hidden  Stik

Hidden Stik

A bit of Blighty in Berlin

Berlin is the city that the gods decided should be a canvas for all. You are positively encouraged to tag, scribble, doodle, spray, stencil, splash, paint bomb, scrawl, stick, tear or smudge any surface you like.  It might not be everyone’s cup o tea but tis very much to the liking of SF.

Wondering around Schlesisches Tor SF spotted a couple of familiar stylistic scrawlings, ones that are oft seen adorning walls, bridges, vans and anything else you can imagine in London and in particular the the Eastend.

Hidden Stik

Hidden Stik

The very recognisable owl of a certain Dscreet, with a peeping Stik in the background. Tis sometimes nice to see a little bit of home when you are on your travels we feel.

Stik being Dscreet

Stik being Dscreet

More to follow very soon featuring Berlin artists, posters, toilet art and the beautiful architecture of the city of the canvas.

London Sunshine and Paint

Always rains in London right? Not this bank holiday it was hot, it was sunny, there was a festival and it was hot.

In addition to this the sun remained long enough for the bicycle to come out and to spot a little bit of paint on walls. A mini taster now, but a lot more to follow, the summer floodgates have well and truly sprung.

Sokar Uno, a German artist of some note, typically using quite a real surreal style has been spraying in the Eastend. This is not to far from outdoor Hipster mecca that is London Fields.

PT I

PT I

PT II

PT II

 

Plus another....

Plus another….

More to follow shortly….

Now it is a case of avoiding being knocked off the bike

Paint out East – Unknown artists?

SF has been looking for new paint, away from the well trodden tracks of Brick Lane, the canals, Old Street, etc etc. A little cycle out past the Olympic stadium past Newham and beyond through up these lil gems. No idea of the artists as yet so suggestions would be welcomed, top line diggery suggests the below.

IDKY

IDKY

Great colours and freehand with some stencilling to boot. 2013 so pretty fresh too

Kid1

Kid1

Simple old skool, nice colours and freehand

Sish Man

Sish Man

Pink. Everyone likes pink, not just ladies and poofs. Words mixed in to the brain matter, with an on switch. Big like.

Cheese Freedom

Cheese Freedom

Pyramid, all seeing eye and the idea of Cheese Freedom, who knew that the shackles were on for the fromage. Liking the slick writing style

Head to Newham on the cycle paths for your own view

Toil-art in the Eastend

You find some of the best and most interesting, witty things scrawled on the walls of toilets, regardless of which city, country or continent you are in.

Does this say…..

a) Lance Armstrong is innocent or

b) Lance Armstrong is no c*nt

Livewrong

Livewrong

Below it comments that all ‘we all ride bikes on drugs….’ Good ol Eastend

Plus two scrawled cocks on the walls

Then a couple of other bits SF thought you’d like

East

East

Wall tag

Wall tag