Berlin Living Rooms


Best of 2017

We’re away until January 3, but we’re reposting some of our favorite pieces from 2017. Enjoy your holiday!

Christian Boros (German advertising maestro) and Karen Lohmann Boros (art historian). Berlin Mitte, 2015.


When I lived in West Berlin during the last days of the wall, the historical image of the Berlin apartment had for me two facets, both familiar from literature, film, and art. The working-class apartment was part of the story of suffering in the German capital. “A Berlin apartment can kill,” Heinrich Zille reported in the 1920s. And then there was the apartment of the bourgeoisie, which in art seemed to become immediately a setting, not the subject. But in the divided city, housing was no longer so much a question of whether it was intended for the poor or for the rich as one of whether it was a new building or an old one. We were all young then and wanted romantic spaces—the prewar architecture of the city, a city that in those days still showed blank spaces, areas of the not yet reclaimed.