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Pfefferberg Complex in Berlin Selected as the Second Site of the BMW Guggenheim Lab
Architects’ model, New York City site. View from Houston Street, showing a workshop setting. Photo: Courtesy Atelier Bow-Wow.
NEW YORK, NY.- Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, and Frank-Peter Arndt, member of the Board of Management, BMW AG, announced today that the second site of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, following New York City’s Lower East Side, will be the Pfefferberg complex in the Berlin neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg. The BMW Guggenheim Lab, a temporary structure designed by Atelier Bow-Wow architects, is scheduled to open in Pfefferberg in late spring 2012 and will offer nearly three months of programs.

The BMW Guggenheim Lab will be a public place for sharing ideas and practical solutions to major issues affecting urban life. Conceived as an urban think tank and mobile laboratory, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will explore issues confronting contemporary cities and provide a public place and online forum for sharing ideas and practical solutions. The BMW Guggenheim Lab and all of its programming will be free to the public. The website (bmwguggenheimlab.org), launching in early July, and online communities will create and extend the opportunity to participate in this multidisciplinary urban experiment worldwide.

In Berlin, the second stop of the global initiative, the Guggenheim and BMW will collaborate with ANCB Metropolitan Laboratory, an architecture exhibition-and research-space in the Pfefferberg complex. Originally built as a brewery in the mid-19th century, today the former industrial complex houses artist studios, galleries, restaurants, and other creative enterprises.

The programming presented at the BMW Guggenheim Lab in the Pfefferberg complex will be created by a specially appointed Berlin BMW Guggenheim Lab Team, an innovative group of emerging talents in their respective fields who, together with Guggenheim curators, will explore urban living issues and strategies that are relevant to the city. The Berlin Lab Team will be announced at a later date.

“We look forward to welcoming the BMW Guggenheim Lab to Berlin next year,” stated Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit. “In 2012 the BMW Guggenheim Lab will engage our community in a crucial dialogue about urban responsibilities and strategies for the future. With its provocative theme of Confronting Comfort, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will explore the conditions and potentials of our city and of the urban environment worldwide. As a vibrant and progressive center of art and design innovation, and a laboratory in its own right, Berlin will be an ideal site and an important contributor to this exciting initiative.”

“The Pfefferberg site in Berlin is an excellent location for the BMW Guggenheim Lab,” stated Richard Armstrong. “What better place to explore major issues affecting urban life than in this rehabilitated industrial complex in the heart of one of the world’s most progressive centers of culture and creativity— a city that is also home to the Deutsche Guggenheim? It is a pleasure to be collaborating with the city of Berlin and with BMW, and we look forward to continuing to work together as this exciting initiative continues to evolve and unfold.”

“The BMW Guggenheim Lab is coming to Berlin. Following its launch in New York and before it heads for Asia, Germany’s pulsating capital offers a creative and fertile environment for this fascinating international project,” stated Frank-Peter Arndt. "For 40 years now, the BMW Group has been involved in more than a hundred cultural projects around the world. Together with strong partners in Berlin such as the State Opera, the National Gallery, the Berlinale, the Berlin Biennale and the Gallery Weekend, we warmly welcome the BMW Guggenheim Lab at its only stay in Germany.”

''Being intensively and continuously engaged in the communication of architecture and urban design and its ethical, cultural and social dimensions, the collaboration with the BMW Guggenheim Lab is an exciting and inspiring initiative underpinned by common ideas and targets,'' said Hans-Jürgen Commerell and Kristin Feireiss, Directors of the Aedes Network Campus Berlin. “We look forward to this cultural research project with our new neighbor, the BMW Guggenheim Lab, during its stay in Berlin at Pfefferberg.”

“I am interested in the exchanges between the urban fabric, the interaction of its users and the wider context, and the constant reformulation of this relation of exchange,” said Rirkrit Tiravanija, member of the Advisory Committee of the BMW Guggenheim Lab. “Berlin is an excellent choice for the second city of the BMW Guggenheim Lab. As an urban laboratory, its goals of public exchange and interaction are very well suited to the energy, dynamism, and people of the city."

Daniel Barenboim, conductor and member of the Advisory Committee of the BMW Guggenheim Lab stated: “On its Berlin stop, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will offer a unique opportunity for dialogue across all boundaries. Only through mutual exchange can humans reveal their full humanity.”

Over the six-year migration of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, there will be three different themes and three distinct mobile structures, each designed by a different architect and each traveling to three cities around the world.

The first BMW Guggenheim Lab will be unveiled in New York on August 3. Following Berlin, the third stop will be a city in Asia, to be announced later this year. The compact temporary facility housing the BMW Guggenheim Lab will be approximately 2,200 square feet and can easily fit into dense neighborhoods and travel from city to city.

The theme of the first three-city cycle is Confronting Comfort, an exploration of how to make urban environments more responsive to people’s needs, find balance between modern notions of individual and collective comfort, and promote environmental and social responsibility.



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