Friday May 30, 2014·
Berliners have a knack for transforming the past. Peppered across the city you'll find cavernous industrial structures, the products of Germany's military and DDR history. Post-wall Berlin became a playground for the adventurous: airport terminals became clubs, post offices became clubs, power stations – well, you get the point.
Looming over Mitte like the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin is an austere reminder of 1943 Germany. The Reichsbahnbunker is one of the few remaining Nazi-built structures left in Berlin, but in the past two decades its uses have been aligned with more positive endeavours. After the obligatory stint as a club in the '90s (one of Berlin's most notorious), Christian and Karen Boros bought the Bunker to house their private art collection. By erecting their penthouse home on the top of the bunker they effectively rendered one of Nazi Germany's most indestructible buildings a basement – no mean feat.
The original four floors of the Bunker are home to a permanent collection of contemporary art (the oldest piece is from 1990), Sammlung Boros, that includes household names like Ai Weiwei and Wolfgang Tillmans (the phrase 'household names' takes on a new meaning when they are literally in someone's house). To visit the Bunker you have to make a reservation, and it can take up to a month to get a spot. Once inside you'll be led through the collection on a 90-minute tour, throughout which your guide will sporadically stop to point out bullet holes, fetish rooms and even some of the collection.