Street artists create fresh ambiance from urban decay
There’s an old dumpling factory in Munich that now breathes life back into itself by morphing into what some call “the largest party zone in Europe.” Once the plant was closed and rusting, some forward-thinking Germans decided to turn it into Munich’s most popular night spot, combining drinking and dancing with music and art.
Kunstpark Ost — or more commonly, “Kultfabrik,” — was once a colorless industrial manufacturing complex, and is now home to dozens of trendy nightclubs and bars – with names like – “New York Table Dance,” “Boomerang,” “Refugium,” and, “Americanos.” While the architecture is “basic factory” (some of the structures still house bulky molds and machinery) – the exterior walls are covered with captivating color and radical street art.
I found the creative jolt I’m always looking for when I travel — in the exaggerated shapes, knockout colors, and in-your-face messaging of the city’s street artists. It’s a few blocks away from the Ostbahnhof station, and worth checking out for its sheer originality.
I thank Eva, a colleague of mine who works in Munich, for taking me to a corner of the city that is not pretty–not fixed up–not perfect. There aren’t many places that fit that description in Munich, because the the city takes pride in keeping its structures in good repair. So Eva took me to Kultfabrik — where I drooled over the insane and varied styles of graffiti art, shot in the midst of a snowy December day, with intermittent sun.