KW Institute for Contemporary Art
KW Institute for Contemporary Art is regularly listed among Germany's foremost modern art institutions and attracts international media coverage. KW has no collection of its own but instead views itself as a laboratory for communicating and advancing contemporary cultural developments in Germany and abroad by means of exhibitions, workshops and resident artists' studios, as well as by collaborating with artists or other institutions and by commissioning works. Founded in the early 1990s by Klaus Biesenbach and a group of young art enthusiasts, the institution is located on the site of a abandoned margarine factory in Berlin's Mitte district. It symbolizes, perhaps more than any other institution, the city's development into a center of contemporary art in the decade after the fall of the Wall. The listed front building dating from the second half of the 18th century and the late-19th-century factory to its rear were extensively restored with assistance from the urban heritage preservation office Städtebaulicher Denkmalschutz and the foundations Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin and Stiftung Denkmalschutz, during the course of the 1990's. Two new buildings were also added to the complex: the Café Bravo pavilion designed by the American artist Dan Graham and architecturally realized in collaboration with Hanne Nalbach, and a classical white cube exhibition hall from the Berlin architect Hans Düttmann. The refurbished KW was inaugurated in fall 1999 and possesses some 2,000 square meters of exhibition space extending over five floors, six artists' studios in the front side wings, and one of the most striking courtyards in central Berlin.
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