GERMANY - The Berlin-based ROBERTNEUN™ has it roots in the local underground scene. The firm offers a fresh approach in which architecture is more than planning and tectonics.
For many years, Berlin's underground scene was the breeding ground for a particular kind of hedonism. 'Young people' aged 30 to 50 inhabited a world that blended retro and high-tech, extravagance and organic living, freedom and bourgeois narrow-mindedness. The authentic attitude to life was conveyed by so-called 'clubs'. This is where people spent a large portion of their lives, hanging out in the slipstream of cool beats, drinking bottled Beck's (nothing else), and getting bored. The sole home for this kind of culture was the capital of freelancing (the noble form of unemployment); only in Berlin this was an authentic lifestyle.
This world of new Berlin bohemianism forms the background to the work of ROBERTNEUN™ architects, founded in 2000 by Thomas Baecker (b. 1969), Nils Buschmann (b. 1972) and Tom Friedrich (b. 1972), all graduates of Berlin's Technical University. Since then, the team has worked mostly for long-term friends and acquaintances in Berlin, designing bars, clubs, lounges and galleries. Berlin cool has turned professional, and this has brought change: there is now a demand for enduring design. Where parasitic parties were once held in abandoned warehouses, with guests turning up on demand to hear impromptu DJ sets and drink warm beer from overflowing bathtubs, the structures have now solidified. Some nomadic city dwellers fled the infamous Mitte district; others put down roots – and this transformation of identity is reflected in the city's architecture.
Architecture, Design, Interior