photographer: Stefan Müller
The dining club of the Landwehr was one of Helmut Newton’s last memories of Berlin: the highly acclaimed photographer was forced to flee his home town in 1938. The Helmut Newton Foundation could not have found a better location to exhibit the work of the late photographer.
Newton pledged his work to the city of Berlin months before his unexpected death. The whole spectrum of Newton’s work is shown on a rotating basis over two floors of the now renovated building: his fantastic aesthetic sense and vivid portrayal can be seen in his works from the world of fashion and advertising, as well as in portraits, nude photographs and landscapes. The unique atmosphere makes the works of the star photographer and his wife June, better known under her pseudonym Alice Springs, impressively effective.
The Helmut Newton Foundation was responsible for the renovation of the imposing building, dating from 1909, by architects Schmieden and Boethke. The Berlin-based architect firm Kahlfeldt laid open the original architectural structure of the building and combined the resulting structure of high rooms both optically and functionally with high doors and passageways. The central element is the spacious staircase whose structure, retained in part, provided orientation for the new design. The tufted Concept 501 by Carpet Concept is a colourful red highlight which takes the visitor on the red carpet so to speak to the gallery via the stairs.
The replica of the artist’s studio in Monte Carlo has a colourful floor of organic shapes which the Bielefeld-based company copied from original photos. The hard-wearing CAD carpet was printed individually using the innovative Chromjet procedure. The design thus corresponds to the original which was specially designed for Newton by Ettore Sottsass.
Design team: Petra and Paul Kahlfeldt, Berlin