WWelcome to Funkytown. Offering a view of the Spree, Plänterwald, the neighboring Funkhaus on Nalepastrasse, and the city skyline, the new creative complex represents revitalization of a legendary location in the east. For nearly 30 years, the East German youth radio station DT64 in BLOCK-E on Rummelsburger Landstrasse broadcast culture, hits, debates, and art into the households of an entire generation. A location full of memories and emotions.
BLOCK-E will remain and form the heart of Funkytown. Eight modern buildings will also be built in the coming years and will house culture, education, accommodations, and community. Eight new STATIONS, endless horizons.
10,500 m² GFA
Office, Co-Working, Studio, Atelier, Restaurant
Q2 / 2024
38,500 m² GFA
Office, Studio, Education, Culture, Atelier, Accommodation, Retail, Restaurant, Sport, Creative Craftsmanship, Kindergarten
Q4 / 2027
DThe potential provided by the location, significance, and surroundings is unrivalled in Berlin and Germany – and possibly even worldwide. “The Industrial Districts of Former East Berlin Are Now Some of the City's Most Exciting Creative Hubs,” headlines Travel + Leisure. All former citizens of East Germany are familiar with the area around Nalepastrasse, a neighborhood emotionally charged by decades of history. For half a century, the Funkhaus has provided people with the opportunity to experience culture, make music, and get their creative juices flowing.
The urban energy is balanced by the Spree and the island of Bullenbruch, whose deciduous trees extend all the way down to the water. A sense of contentment without a care in the world, free, empowering – for a mind without walls, thoughts without borders, and a heart without hurdles. The Funkytown name represents new beginnings, rhythm, and radio history as well as people, change, and city life. Creativity and urban lifestyle come together, directing the eyes to the Berlin skyline and beyond. After all, there’s a whole world behind the horizon.
There are many ways to reach Funkytown. In a few minutes, Funkytown can be reached by Tram 21 from S-Bahn stations Ostkreuz or Rummelsburg or by ferry F11 from S-Bahn station Baumschulenweg. In addition, the on-demand BVG service Muva is available in the district of Treptow-Köpenick. Muva transports passengers using bus stops as well as additional pickup stops. There is also an all-day private campus shuttle with an electric bus, as well as the option to travel individually by scooter, share cars or bikes.
For the future, the district is planning to invest in the transport axis towards the city center and BER Airport, as well as implementing the Spree River as a route. Therefore, the use of additional ferries and water cabs is being examined.
DInternal, personal, and individual experiences remain ingrained in the mind. Whether flourishing, fragile, growing, or fading, each memory is different, but always present. We want to remember – preserve images, thoughts, and stories – which is why we’re creating a location that not only embraces history, but also builds on it, transforming memories into something new. Funkytown casts the internal into an external mold, with a clear focus on appreciation, interconnection, and vitality.
Even the story behind the origin of DT64 is fascinating. Beginning on May 19, 1964, the German Youth Rally broadcast continuously for 99 hours straight, securing its cult status and establishing itself as the voice of East Germany’s youth overnight. The former Block-E became a symbol of East German identification. The youth radio station referred to itself as the “Power of the Eastside” – and thus a movement was born in Berlin’s Treptow-Köpenick borough. Until the wall came down, shows like Hitglobus, Mischmasch, and Dr. Kaos were key components of the daily programming.
The change in 1989 was at the same time as a media upswing with new possibilities in the reunified city. New sounds and movements like techno and house played an important role at DT64 early on, with shows by Marco Lopez and Marusha.
The DT64 hit caravan was still touring Germany in 1991, having embarked on a mission to rescue the station. A large, emotional wave of protests in the east and west brought people together and continues to do so to this day. In October 1991, superstar David Bowie came to Berlin to fight for the station – without success. The end of the station in mid-1993, with the renaming to Sputnik and the move to Halle, left behind an enormous empty space in the hearts of an entire generation.
WWhat is often forgotten in East German nostalgia is the fact that Block-E has now been empty for as long as it was initially in use. The dilapidation of the building itself is also a part of history. For the kids of the Peaceful Revolution, the cult site is nothing more than a skeleton of ruins, its true spirit accessible only in YouTube documentaries. It’s high time for a transformation. And that is why Funkytown plans to create a new identity inspired by the old one, filling the empty concrete shell with new stories. Generation Berlin is international and creative, sharp-witted and digitally minded, and demonstrates awareness and attitude. Funkytown shares these values and is opening its doors – for professionals and innovative minds, for north, south, east, and west.
DBuilt in the early 1960s, the reinforced concrete structure is a classic and needs no introduction for Berlin residents. The former DT64 headquarters continue to turn heads to this day and fascinate fans of brutalist architecture. Imposing from afar and up close, the five-floor block is home to historical treasures. The raw concrete has been preserved, and with it the recent decades of graffiti, providing BLOCK-E with its genuine character. The enormous building forms the basis for a modern vibe in the unusually cool neighborhood. Combined with new materials, a glass facade, and a contemporary interior, the former department for news and foreign policy will be transformed into innovative work lofts.
People who work here can expand their horizons and breathe German history, which even extends to the architecture. The eye-catching pillars, once guiding elements for narrow hallways, provide the gutted floors with structure and allow for flexible uses with spaces that measure up to 425 m².
NFollowing renovation of BLOCK-E, the focus will turn to new structures. Eight modern construction projects will allow for an extensive range of uses, from culture, education, accommodations, and community to co-working and retail spaces. The T in DT64 stands for “togetherness,” which is also rooted in the town concept. The old building and innovation – BLOCK-E and STATIONS – will be arranged specifically to encourage dialogue. The outdoor spaces will serve as cultural and social hubs, open to both the inside and outside – for experiences, conversation, dancing, and getting together.
To ensure this diversity is also visible from the outside, it has been incorporated into the architectural concept. Each STATION will be planned and individually designed by a different Berlin architect according to the urban planning concept by KSP Engel Berlin. KSP Engel will coordinate as well as design the central building of the eight stations. This allows for a creative mix, colorful ideas and funk in the city.
BBLOCK-E offers a perfect starting point for designing new workspaces with plenty of free spirit. Entire floors are available or just parts of a gutted floor: flexible use of space from approx. 370 m² to 9,000 m² is possible.
All spaces enjoy a unique atmosphere thanks to the original concrete walls, many windows facing the sunrise or sunset, and the striking architecture. In addition, there is a restaurant on the ground floor, plenty of sunlight through new windows in the basement, and a roof terrace designed for working and relaxing.