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König Galerie - Berlin

The heat and forecasted thunderstorms today kept me close to home and limited on time, so I visited the König Galerie in Kreuzberg. The majority of the art spaces were closed in the building for new installations, but the gem of the Galerie was still open and holding an exhibit for Ayako Rokkaku's "Free Feeling". This essay is not about the artist's work, which is beautiful, colorful, and full of heart. Instead, this is about the space itself.

Originally built as a church, the building has taken on a better purpose as an art gallery. Much like Paris's Sainte-Chappelle, the first floor is subtle and quaint, and you must ascend to find the exalted gem within the building. The stairwell is boxy and compact, continuing the concrete and wood theme of the building. Upon the first landing, a standard-sized doorway leads to a vast, cathedral-like room where the art nearly fights the architecture for your attention. The concrete slab floor seems to float in the space, emphasized by three short steps that span the width of the room. The ceiling is softened by a hanging sub-ceiling of warm-toned wood slats that plays with the sunlight filtering in from glazing that runs along the flanks of the multi-meter high ceiling. There are slivers of glazing in two corners of the walls also allow the sunlight to move across the room as the sun traverses the sky. The art anchors the ultra-textured walls that look and feel rough, yet somehow emote a sense of softness and warmth, like a small mud house in the countryside. Even in such a large space, the sounds contained within are soft with reverent whispers and gasps of wonder echoing from each new entrant.

König Staircase

Please don't touch the artwork!

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