Press Release

Rendering of the BMW Guggenheim Lab site in Berlin

BMW Guggenheim Lab to Open in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg Neighborhood on June 15, 2012

NEW YORK, NY, April 3, 2012 – The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is pleased to announce that the BMW Guggenheim Lab will open in the Pfefferberg complex, in the Berlin neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg. The BMW Guggenheim Lab—a temporary public space and online forum encouraging open dialogue about issues related to urban living—will offer free public programs from June 15 to July 29, 2012.

“We are sincerely grateful to Klaus Wowereit, Mayor of Berlin, Franz Schulz, Mayor of Kreuzberg, Matthias Koehne, Mayor of Pankow, the Berlin Senate, and the citizens of Berlin for their outpouring of support for our project, and we are thrilled to move forward with the BMW Guggenheim Lab in the great city of Berlin,” said Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “The decision to relocate the Lab was not an easy one, but we are very pleased to have so quickly confirmed such a suitable alternative and to continue the urgent and important discussions we have begun about cities, and specifically about Berlin, at the Pfefferberg site. The Lab can only flourish through input and participation from people of all viewpoints, so in that sense the Berlin Lab has already begun.”

Pfefferberg, a former industrial complex that houses artists’ studios, galleries, and restaurants, was first chosen as the site for the BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin in June 2011. In January 2012, the Guggenheim Foundation announced plans to move the location of the Lab to Kreuzberg, on an expansive lot at the corner of Cuvrystrasse and Schlesische Strasse, along the River Spree. These plans were subsequently withdrawn because of concerns that the project would be disrupted.

Maria Nicanor, curator of the Lab for Berlin, stated, “The Lab Team and I have been working in Berlin for months to develop programs with this city, along with the help of many friends in the community. Speaking personally, I feel happy to be moving forward and grateful to be doing it with the co-operation of BMW. They have respected our complete curatorial freedom from the beginning of the project and supported us in every decision we have made.”

The BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin

Programming for the Berlin Lab has been developed by the Guggenheim Museum. All programs have been created by the Berlin Lab Team (José Gómez-Márquez, Rachel Smith, Corinne Rose and Carlo Ratti), an international, multidisciplinary team of innovators and experts led by Guggenheim curator Maria Nicanor. In addition to programs based at the Pfefferberg site, the Berlin Lab will offer a variety of city-wide explorations. All programs will be free of charge. As programs are developed, media updates will be issued.

Under the umbrella of Confronting Comfort, the theme of the Lab’s first two-year cycle, programming for the Berlin Lab will center on the topic of “Making” and the importance of citizens participating in the creation of the cities they wish to inhabit. The programs have been designed to address ideas of particular relevance to Berlin as well as global urban issues. Lectures, hands-on workshops, and events at the Berlin Lab will be organized around four main topics:

Empowerment Technologies
José Gómez-Márquez, a pioneer in the field of health technology innovations, will lead a series of “do-it-yourself” workshops focused on the tangible aspects of building one’s own city by “hacking” and transforming urban spaces.

Dynamic Connections
Rachel Smith works with transportation issues and will lead programs focused on sustainable mobility and community-building.

Urban Micro-Lens
Berlin-based artist Corinne Rose will explore the intersection between psychology, architecture, and art with programs that address perception, communication, and emotion in city life.

Senseable City
Architect Carlo Ratti will lead programs examining how new technologies are transforming the way we understand, design, and live in cities.

The BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin will be presented in collaboration with ANCB—Metropolitan Laboratory.

About the BMW Guggenheim Lab

Housed in a mobile structure designed by Tokyo architecture firm Atelier Bow-Wow, the BMW Guggenheim Lab launched in the summer of 2011 in New York. Over six years, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will travel to a total of nine cities around the world in three successive two-year cycles, each with its own theme and structure. Following Berlin—the second stop of the tour—the BMW Guggenheim Lab will travel to Mumbai in winter 2012-13. The Lab is curated by David van der Leer and Maria Nicanor of the Guggenheim Museum.

The BMW Guggenheim Lab's website (, blog (, interactive Urbanology game, and online communities further extend the opportunity to participate in this multidisciplinary urban experiment worldwide. Visitors are invited to become members of the BMW Guggenheim Lab's dedicated social communities at: and #BGLab


Tina Vaz/Betsy Ennis 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
+1 212 423 3840
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Melissa Parsoff
Ruder Finn Arts & Communications Counselors
+1 212 593 5889
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April 3, 2012

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