All posts tagged: Thomas Willemeit (GRAFT architects)

Young Announces Construction of Urban Nation Museum

Young Announces Construction of Urban Nation Museum

Berlin Begins Building a Haus for Street/Urban Art

Urban Nation “Museum For Urban Contemporary Art” Set to Open Mid 2017

“You can try and tame the wild but what good would it do? Isn’t the wild what makes us into warriors, kings and queens, discoverers and inventors? – The wild is all we need to know to make life worth living but we should never ever try to comprehend or change it…that is what art means to me,” says Yasha Young as she pulls back the curtains on the plans for the construction of the brand new Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin this afternoon.


Yasha Young  announcing construction of Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art today in Berlin. (photo ©Nika Kramer)

With a wall full of photographs by the renowned Martha Cooper behind her and before a roomful of press people and artists, the manager and future director of the museum gave this sweeping overview of the philosophical approach that has breathed life into a project that is her brainchild. Along with Markus Terboven from the Gewobag foundation, Thomas Willemeit, Managing Director at architect GRAFT, Tim Renner, the Undersecretary of State for Cultural Affairs, and Hendrick Jellema from the non-profit Berliner Leben, Ms. Young laid out the plans for the dynamically designed interior of this Wilhelminian-era building at Bülowstrasse 7.

The nascent museum and the Urban Nation project has already shown serious signs indicating it’s future significance over the past three years with the famed curated “Project M” series of urban/street/graffiti artists in the main street-level windows – as well as the UN’s partnering with urban/Street Art festivals and community-driven initiatives in Europe, the US, Russia, and Asia.


Markus Terboven (Geobag), Thomas Willemeit (GRAFT architects), Yasha Young (Urban Nation), Tim Renner (Undersecretary of State for Cultural Affairs), and Hendrik Jellema (Berliner Leben) before the site of the future Urban Nation Museum of Urban Contemporary Art in Berlin. (photo ©Nika Kramer)

In fact the lead-up to today’s announcement, a real art world first, has included three years of on the street programming and in temporary exhibition spaces that has featured 320 large scale and smaller works by 219 artists established, well known and emerging on the global street art and contemporary urban art scene.

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Screenshot of new Martha Cooper Library at Urban Nation from video below.

In addition to featuring a brand new library named after Martha Cooper and featuring part of her collection of books, magazines, sketchbooks, photography and ephermera, and a winding, floating catwalkway through shifting perspectives that is inspired by Escher’s stairs, and education/lecture spaces, the new museum will feature a high tech façade that will continually change with installations, artists, and themes.

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Screenshot of architectural rendering for new Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art from video below.

Architects and designers at GRAFT, which has built a reputation for experimentation and design innovation in exhibitions as well as architecture, are said to have continually looked for ways to establish a continuum between the street and the museum. In a recent conversation with Denis Leo Hegic, an architect on the project, we learned that the concrete of the street will quite literally lead into the museum main floor.  Take a look at the video tour of the space here.

More to come on this story as construction begins along with curation of the inaugural exhibit!

New Video Takes You Flying Through Berlin’s new Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art.


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