The Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art – or Urban Nation Museum for short – is the first museum of urban art in Germany and occupies a former residential building in the Schöneberg district of Berlin.
GRAFT’s concept for the conversion of the building at the crossroads of Bülowstrasse and Zietenstrasse envisaged turning the building itself into a work of art. The façade comprises modular sections that serve as a canvas for artists from all over the world and can be changed periodically. The elements of the building façade are then added to the museum’s collection as works of art.
The interior reveals a radical and unexpected space: enfilades of rooms extend in all directions and over two or even three floors, creating a sense of height and depth. The anamorphic techniques of urban art permeate the realm of architecture allowing art to enter into a new symbiosis with architecture.
The street extends into the interior of the museum. A walkway – a ‘high line’ of sorts – connects the exhibition spaces and makes it possible to simultaneously experience the works of art from afar and from close up.
The Urban Nation Museum also contains a library as well as twelve apartments for Urban Nation Artists taking part in the artist’s residency program.
URBAN NATION is an initiative by the foundation “Berliner Leben” that was founded by the Berlin housing association Gewobag in 2013. Under the direction of Yasha Young, the museum has acquired a reputation platform for urban art attracting artists from around the world. The museum gives the art form of urban art its own platform while making it accessible to visitors from near and far.