Spreepark Kulturpark Berlin
Kulturpark: Think Tank & Temporary Public Art
Berlin's Spreepark forest houses an abandoned amusement park along the Spree river in the east of the city. Efforts to restructure the 70.5 acre site at an idyllic stretch of the river were unsuccessful due to the complex circumstances. An international collaborative team comprised of Berlin and U.S. creatives initiated Kulturpark. The project consisted of a joint effort to provide a platform of communication about the land that engaged administrators, planners, landscape architects, art/cultural professionals and artists. The Urban Culture Institute organized an international think tank to develop a vision for the future of Spreepark, which ran parallel to the Kulturpark series of temporary public art projects and performances surrounding the property.
In June 2012, over 30 decision makers and experts in the areas of urban and cultural planning met at Treptow city hall to envision a future for the family amusement park Spreepark, which had been closed since 2001. District mayor Oliver Igel was honorary chair of the event. A holistic and site-based approach formed the basis of the initiative.
The City of Berlin reacquired the rights to the Spree-Park Plänterwald in spring 2014, thereby paving the way for new private investment and a successful, sustainable cultural framework for the park. The concept for a reopened park is inspired by Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, which celebrates the industrial heritage of the site, presenting decaying buildings as contemporary archeological ruins (see Berliner Zeitung, October 19, 2015). This idea was introduced by Christina Lanzl and the Kulturpark team during the think tank and is referenced in the Spreepark Executive Summary.
The Kulturpark Team was comprised of Christina Lanzl and Dieta Dixt of the Urban Culture Institute; Stephanie Sherman and George Scheer of Elsewhere in Greensboro, North Carolina; Anthony Spinello and Agustina Woodgate of Spinello Projects in Miami, Florida; and Rene Tettenborn of the Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde.
As the new steward of the Spreepark, Grün Berlin is developing the new vision of Europe's first art and culture park in a public-private partnership with the City of Berlin. The master plan, completed by Latz + Partner landscape architects, currently is in the permitting phase.
View documentation of the Spreepark master planning process in English or German.
Spreepark Think Tank Documentation
Download project-related documents:
Summer 2018 Spreepark Performative Art Tours
In Summer 2018, the Urban Culture Institute offered performative art tours in the Spreepark of Berlin as part of a summer-long program featuring five artists/teams who interpreted the park's special features in various formats. Participants were invited to discover imaginary worlds, to taste plants, to share memories, to ask questions of ownership and property, or to become part of musical stagings.
Live: Nature Music Scenery
The Urban Culture Institute's performative guided tours utilized the Spreepark as a backdrop for a musical dialogue celebrating the interplay of nature, culture, and performance. Musicians Paul Brody (trumpet) and Robyn Schulkowsky (percussion) reflected the sounds and the spirit of the Spreepark with their improvisations by turning the remains of former fairground rides into resonance rooms or instruments. Each tour was accompanied by a storyteller, Christina Lanzl or Dieta Sixt, who complemented the musical improvisations with scenic, interactive stories inspired by the exceptional Spreepark scenery itself (Dieta Sixt) or by feature films shot in the Spreepark, such as the 2011 action film Hanna or
Peter Dörfler's 2009 documentary Achterbahn (Christina Lanzl). The performers resurrected the park’s magic in the course of their interpretations. The audience was invited to actively participate on an acoustic level or by contributing specific memories related to the past, present and future of the Spreepark. Thus, different layers of time and musical composition were woven together with scenic improvisation.
All Live: Nature Music Scenery performative tours conducted by a storyteller, trumpet player and percussionist. Duration: approx. 1.5–2 hours
The Spreepark Film Performative Tour
Friday – Sunday, August 31 – September 2, 6:00 pm
The Spreepark Story Performative Tour
Saturday & Sunday, September 15 & 16, 3:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday, September 29 & 30, 3:00 pm
For additional information visit Grün Berlin's ZKR webpage in English or German.
Register online for any of the summer 2018 Spreepark performative art tours.
Köhler, Regina. “Spreepark soll Europas erster Kunst- und Kulturpark
werden.” Berliner Morgenpost, February 19, 2018.
Schmidl, Karin. "Der Spreepark öffnet wieder." Berliner Zeitung, October 19, 2015.
Stollowsky, Christoph. "Der Liegenschaftsfonds kauft den Spreepark zurück."
Tagesspiegel, March 26, 2014.
Spangenberg, Christoph; Langenstraß, Markus."Spreepark Wiederbelebung:
Theaterspuk unterm Riesenrad." Tagesspiegel, June 20, 2012.
"Internationale Initiative will Spreepark aktivieren." Berliner Morgenpost,
June 4, 2012.
Schmidl, Karin. "Es spukt wieder unterm Riesenrad." Berliner Zeitung,
May 29, 2012.
Bednarz, Christine. "From NYC to Dubai - Public Art Heats up for the Summer."
Huffington Post, May 28, 2012.
Ma, Julie. "Kulturpark: An Abandoned Amusement Park Becomes a Public Art
Space." Good Culture, April 11, 2012.
"Kickstarter Spotlight: Help Revive Abandoned Berlin Amusement Park."
Huffington Post. April 10, 2012.
Zimmer, Lori. "Kulturpark: Abandoned Amusement Park in Berlin Will Become a
Magical Art Installation this Summer." Inhabitat, April 3, 2012.
Chayka, Kyle. "Support Kulturpark’s Artistic Reimagining of an Abandoned Berlin
Amusement Park," BLOUIN ARTINFO, March 27, 2012.
"Kulturpark: Public Art Reclamation of Abandoned Theme Park." DESIGNBOOM,
March 22, 2012.
Gee, Robin. "Artists Take Back Abandoned Amusement Park in Berlin." Huffington
Post, September 9, 2011.
Chayka, Kyle. "Meet the Itinerant Art Crew Transforming an Abandoned Berlin
Amusement Park Into an Artist Wonderland." BLOUIN ARTINFO,
August 12, 2011.
Saayej, Nadja. "Coming Attractions." New York Times Magazine Blog,
August 11, 2011.