When you are driving across Schildhornstrasse or through the Schloßstrasse in the district south of Schöneberg called Steglitz, you may notice a futuristic building which bears strong similarities to a space ship that just has landed. This is the so-called Bierpinsel, a famous landmark in Berlin, although not very well known outside the city. Due to its unusual appearance you either hate it or love it. I am one of the few persons who actually loves it, as it is something completely unique and fits in the surrounding area despite the odd design. However, I do miss its original red colour.
The Bierpinsel was built between 1972 and 1976 and is a typical example of the 70’s pop architecture. It was designed by Ralf Schüler and Ursulina Schüler-Witte, the same architects who created the conference center ICC Berlin. It is inspired by a tree and has an integrating function between the highway crossing and the city street underneath, which works pretty natural I think.
History of the Bierpinsel
Originally the 47 meter high building housed a restaurant with a panoramic view, called Turmrestaurant Stegliz. After serving free beer during the opening night it immediately received its nickname Bierpinsel (Beer Brush), because one side of the building has a brush-like shape. Although the word “Bierpinsel” is not an actual word, it made enough sense to keep naming the building like this. Maybe the name Bierseidel would have suited better, as the building actually looks a little bit like an old fashioned beer pint of the 70’s.
Since its opening in October 1976, it housed many -mainly gastronomical- businesses, but none of them managed to survive. The building has been closed since 2002, because it needed a substantial renovation. Due to several reasons nothing has been repaired yet, but there are plans to replace the colourful graffiti by its original red colour and to re-open the bar and restaurant after renovation works, which are planned for 2016. Hopefully this will become reality, 14 years after its closure. Until then you can only take a look at the Bierpinsel from the outside and make a selfie in front of it, like one does with the other famous landmarks which the first-time Berlin visitor just has to see.
You find the Bierpinsel at the crossing Schildhornstrasse/Schloßstrasse in Steglitz.