Yeah! Summer arrived in Berlin – time to show our new shirts. One features an empty building close to Alexanderplatz, the “Haus der Statistik”. The Initiative Haus der Statistik is working on a concept to use the building as space for refugees and artists.
The urban environment is always our greatest source of inspiration. The textile design on this shirt references streetlamps. And we love the supersoft material Bamboo!
Our photoshoot took part at Uferhallen in Berlin Wedding. Here you find an interesting article (german) about the architecture. The LINK
“Berlin, you can be so ugly. So dirty and gray…” Peter Fox sings in his Berlin anthem “Schwarzzublau”. The socialist housing block (Plattenbau) at Memhardstraße, near Alexanderplatz, which inspired us to this Note Block (12 x 8 x 6 cm) is also called the “ugliest building of Berlin”. Nevertheless it is enjoying increasing popularity. Let’s say it is just not conform to the common ideals of beauty. There is even a website for “Memi” (german) and an interesting blog post (english).
Like the socialist housing block – Berlin is not pretty in a traditional way, not a classic beauty. Even our former mayor Klaus Wowereit (known for the Berlin slogan “poor but sexy”) once said: “God, this is ugly.” when he saw some new buildings at Alexanderplatz.
Plattenbauten – the architectural witnesses of the German Democratic Republic – have undergone several image changes. In their early days they were extremely popular. Hot water and central heating promised comfort and so the apartment blocks became popular through all social classes.
This changed after the German reunification. Vacancy, alcohol, violence and unemployment dominated the image of the socialist prefab buildings. The overweight long-term unemployed “Cindy from Marzahn” – a fictional character, performing in pink jogging suit is perhaps one of the most positive images that are associated with the socialist residential blocks. Plattenbauten are considered ugly, colorless and uniform .
But – this is slightly changing. Population growth and lack of affordable housing accelerate the image change. 2015 the British star architect David Chipperfiled says in an interview (german) “prefabricated buildings are ugly, but from a social perspective, they are also interesting.” Because prefabricated buildings can not be gentrifcated well – their buiding substance does not work for luxury apartments – even if they are located in the city centre like the block at Memhardstrasse. And so these grey, uniform, socialist residential blocks become keepers of a heterogeneous mix in inner cities. Who would have thought it would end up like this?
In our products and graphics we feature Berlin architecture. With this map we want to guide you through the city we love and share our love for postwar modern architecture, brutalism, space age architecture, plattenbauten and more. Enjoy!
We think a good souvenir shoud represent all important aspect of a city. And Berlin is not just about the touristic highlights – in many areas the view is dominated by GDR prefab buildings – the so called “Plattenbau”. That’s why we creates – the “Plattenbau-Mug”. A Berlin souvenir for Berliners and architecture lovers.
A piece of city for your home. Streetlamps illuminate our streets night by night – yet they lead a shady existence. In everyday life, we are often oblivious to the beauty and varied forms of illusive ”flowers”. The textile designs with ”urban Flowers” are an homage to the hidden beauties of the city.
Let’s start the new week with some good news – the s.wert designs are now available as posters. Stylish – urban and narrative.
“Schilderwald” – this Design Poster is so german. It shows a forest of traffic signs.
The view through our window in Berlin Mitte was the inspiration for that motif. Often we see people there, looking up in the sky – to one of these “traffic sign trees” trying to understand when parking is permitted.
On this poster “Berlin Collage City” we featured Berlin at its best – a perfect mix of colourful Wilhelminian style facades, modern buildings like Potsdamer Platz and the tv tower.
Bierpinsel:This poster is dedicated to the futuristic pop architecture icon ” Bierpinsel ” in Berlin Steglitz. The building was constructed in 1976 by Ralf Schüler and Ursulina Schüler-Witte (the couple also built the ICC). 2011 the originally orange facade got a street art painting by several street artists such as for example Flying Förtress, Sozyone, Honet and Craig ” KR ” Costello.
Kosmos –This cosmic poster in soft pastel shades is an hommage to the Kosmos cinema in Berlin’s Karl-Marx-Allee . The theater was inaugurated in 1962 and was the largest cinema of the GDR , it was designed by the architect Josef Kaiser and Herbert Aust
Alexanderplatz This poster is for ” Berlin Connoisseurs ” , their trained eye will discover that this art print features the subway-station Alexanderplatz. As one of the largest crossing station in Berlin the subway station Alexanderplatz occupies a prominent position. The architect was Alfred Grenander.
“My favourite colour is colourful!” as the Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius once put it. We agree. Modern facades are inspiring, we love them and we “collect” this variety of colours and structures in our textile designs.
2004 we launched our first cushion collection “Angry Children”. Cushions with 60s and 70s architecture.
The disappearing landmarks of Berlin’s postwar modern architecture were theme of the pillow collection “Angry Children”. The name “Angry Children” referred to disrespect of the current generation for its architectural forefathers.
When you need the right gifts for architects, it can be hard picking out something good. Here is a selection of helpful and unique gifts. You can trust us, because we – the s.wert designers are trained as architects.
Alvar Aalto once said “Nothing old is ever reborn but neither does it totally disappear. And that which has once been born, will always reappear in a new form.” So – we recommend these architecture mugs as gift for architecture lovers. These mugs are an homage to great building from Le Corbusier to the typical GDR prefab buildings.
Less is more – is often associated with Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe (1886-1969). This phrase perfectly describes the purist Christmas crib, designed by Oliver Fabel. The only crib free from clichés and kitsch we know. Available in english and german.
Staying with the great modern architects – we recommend cushions with architecture inspired textile designs, such as Mies van der Rohe’s New National Gallery, the Bauhaus Dessau or the Corbusierhouse.
Believe it or not – also socks can be the perfect gift for architects. These high-quality, unisex Berlin socks with a knitted Brandenburg Gate are a beautiful way to say hello from Berlin.
With our latest cushion collection we put the focus on West-Berlin architecture.
Some icons of the postwar modern architecture around Zoologischer Garten are renovated and re-activated with new content.
The first was the cinema Zoo Palast in 2013, followed by the light and filigree Amerika Haus (built in 1956/57 on the occasion of the International Building Exhibition by the architect Bruno Grimmek). Up until 2006, it served as a cultural meeting place and information centre for US citizens – with cinema, library and exhibitions. 2014 the photo gallery C/O Berlin moved into the building. 2015 the Bikini House opened again. The building is one of the contemporary architectural witnesses of Berlin’s post-war times of the 1950s. The building was designed by architects Paul Schwebes and Hans Schoszberger in 1957.