Category: Travel & Places

ewerk in East Berlin

While in Berlin I attended a conference at ewerk, a former power plant that has been converted into a multi-use facility with residences, offices and an event center. Built in the 1880’s, it is located in east Berlin, a stones throw from Checkpoint Charlie. In the 1990’s, after the Berlin Wall came down, it became a major venue in the underground club and rave scene. In 2005 it was renovated into its current form – and the results are spectacular. What an inspiring example of how to update a historical building for modern requirements.

Filed under: Architecture, Interiors, Travel & Places, Uncategorized

BucherBogen Bookshop in Berlin

Wandering around Savignyplatz, a lovely tree lined plaza with nice shops and restaurants, I stumbled into the wonderful BucherBogen bookshop.

Located under an S-Bahn railway bridge inside five connecting archways, it’s a great example of adaptive reuse. The vaulted brick ceilings lend it a monastic feel – which seemed appropriate since I do worship books! The gentle rumble of trains passing over every few minutes somehow add to the ambience.

Specializing in books on the arts and design, it has an outstanding selection, including titles on architecture, interiors, industrial design, graphics, photography, film, fashion, textiles, art and antiques.

I picked up this great book on fifty years of Braun product design. Braun’s former head of design, Dieter Rams, has an excellent show currently on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (until Feb. 20, 2012) titled Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams. His design work and philosophy are hugely influential, particularly on the design of Apple products. Apple design chief Jonathan Ive sung his praises in the introduction to the recently published Dieter Rams: As Little Design as Possible.

Filed under: Architecture, Books, Design, Interiors, Shops, Travel & Places, Uncategorized

Lost in Translation

Just returned from a wonderful trip to Berlin and Prague. Having not been in Germany for many years, one thing that really stood out was the extent to which the English language has been integrated into the culture. As a non-German speaker, this was very impressive and most welcome. However, it can sometimes lead to hilarious results.

I spotted this sign on the street in Berlin. Can you think of a worse name for a home furnishing shop than “Hell Living”? Apparently “hell” means “bright” in German. All I know is that having to live with those bright purple and fuscia plastic French poodles would be like living in hell!

Filed under: Shops, Travel & Places, Uncategorized

Blooming Lovely


My Father-in-Law, Frank, is quite the gardener. He sent us this photo of his lovely garden in full bloom, which won an award for “Best Blooming Garden” in the village of Shevington, Greater Manchester. It’s so quintessentially English – why is that? I’m fascinated with the qualities that give something a strong sense of place. Two big green thumbs up!

Filed under: Gardens & Outdoor Spaces, Travel & Places, Uncategorized