After acquiring the parish center from the diocesan bishop of Berlin through the St. Agnes Immobilien- und Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH in 2012, Johann and Lena König developed a concept together with the architect Arno Brandlhuber (Brandlhuber+ Emde, Burlon) that made as few interventions as possible in the original building and which respected the building’s historical significance both in architectural and religious terms. The project was then realized by Riegler Riewe Architekten.
The main focus of the renovation and redevelopment project was the church itself, which KÖNIG GALERIE has used as a central exhibition space since 2015. After its opening, art critic Tobias Timm coined the newly created space “a bastion for the arts.”
An entirely free-floating concrete table resting on sixteen concrete columns was installed at the height of the former gallery in the nave on the ground floor (750 m²) to add a second level; the space is now the gallery’s main exhibition hall (440 m²) and can be accessed through the square, three-tiered staircase of the church tower that once lead to the church gallery. The end grain flooring was removed and replaced with a concrete floor.
The goal of all the renovation work, as architect Brandlhuber explains, was to closely follow Werner Düttmann’s own logic by taking a minimalist approach and to maintain the essence of the building: “The suspended level makes the space work like a single, well-executed incision.”
The architects and builders on the project were awarded the Architekturpreis Berlin in 2016 and the Bund Deutscher Architekten, BDA Preis Berlin in 2018 for their transformation of St. Agnes.
In 2016, KÖNIG GALERIE opened the sculpture garden that now surrounds St. Agnes church (1,794 m²) in cooperation with the Königliche Gartenakademie and Jörg Käding Garten- & Landschaftsbau GmbH. Architectural Digest wrote that now the gallery has “created a refuge where art, landscaped gardens and the brutalist architecture of St. Agnes beautifully complement each other.”
Largely preserved in its original state, the listed complex owned by St. Agnes Immobilien- und Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH in 2012 has become a cent for art and culture; the former clergy house is still used as a living space; the former parish hall now houses the architecture practice Robertneun; the front area of the parish building, the magazine 032c; and the former kindergarten at the back, New York University.
The company is the rightful owner, builder, and operator of the buildings within the St. Agnes complex.