The Space of ZK/U (currently partly under construction)

The two-story section of the depot was completely refurbished by summer of 2012 to accommodate individual artists, practitioners and urban researchers – or collaborative groups – in 13 self-contained units with living, working and leisure areas for 2–8 month artistic or research residencies (32–53 sqm per unit).

Since 2019, ZK/U is partly under construction to expand. We will re-open in September 2024.

Facilities for Residents

A large communal kitchen and the roofed platform (later a library for use primarily by ZK/U fellows) will comprise the social core of this section.
Most studio units are accessed via a central stairwell, flanking a large communal kitchen that opens onto a grand terrace.

Download detailed PDF to see upper and lower floor

Outdoor platform (currently under construction)

From the railway depot’s covered platform, one looks out onto the railway tracks of Berlin’s Circle Line and Westhafen’s main landmark, the BEHALA-Building. The platform is divided into two seperate parts: a public and a private terrace. The public terrace is used especially during events, while the private terrace is part of the studio apartments’ production and living facilities.

Project Space (currently under construction)

Project presentations, exhibitions, public forums and conferences take place in the adjacent open-plan, main hall of the depot or in its large vaulted basement. These are organized by both local groups and initiatives and residency program participants. Catering facilities are present and enhance the program’s social impact, for example during editions of the format SPEISEKINO.

These areas are currently under construction and will be re-opened in September 2024.

The Basement (currently under construction)

As a favourite location for exhibiting the works of the residents, the basement is located underneath the main hall. It's an ideal space for concerts, experimental music formats and video screenings. It also hosts the occasional party, for which it is equipped with a separate bar and bathrooms.


ZK/U Berlin is surrounded by a public city park. The 15.000 sqm garden contains communal vegetable plots and orchards (organised by BürSte e.V.), fruit trees, playgrounds for young and old: the results of participatory planning process for the park conducted by the district of Mitte.

ZK/U in Berlin

What better place to explore urban issues than a city that has not ceased to be built for the past 150 years? Berlin has witnessed shifting borders at the geographic, political, social and cultural levels. Transitional regimes, the destruction of war, the division and reunification of the city, new legislative frameworks, the shift from heavy industry to the modern, postindustrial era have all shaped Berlin and have kept it in perpetual flux. The city thereby acquired a specific urban character that has generally been marked by a lack of finance and high levels of improvisation. This has often led to unusual planning processes and a diverse range of informal activity that has resulted in worldwide interest in Berlin as a laboratory for urban issues.
The institutional framework for knowledge production is well established here too: Berlin has 4 universities, 7 colleges, 3 art schools, numerous private institutes and research organizations. The arts and sciences have always been and remain today an important driving force in Berlin. This is reflected by the rich cultural life of the city: Innumerable museums, art galleries, theatres and other cultural institutions next to a diverse range of grass-root activities and a vibrant alternative scene attest to the importance of the arts.

Surrounded on all sides by water, Berlin-Moabit was an enclave populated in the 19th century by Huguenots who had fled from France and gave this area its name. With the advent of industrialization at the beginning of the twentieth century, the district became an important manufacturing area. Goods were transported to and from Berlin via this railway depot and Berlin‘s largest inland port, Westhafen.


ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik
Siemensstraße 27
DE-10551 Berlin


We are delighted to announce the soft opening of our new spaces in September 2024. Until spring 2025, we will use this time to test the new spaces with our own formats and explore the needs of the neighborhood. Simultaneously, we are working on rebuilding and optimizing our structures. From October 2024, we welcome your inquiries for space bookings and potential collaborations. Please feel free to contact us at spaces(at)zku-berlin.org.

Accessibility (currently limited due to construction)

The access to the main hall, the terraces and the event cellar is barrier-free. The residency offers a studio with barrier-free bathroom.

Work is in progress to provide barrier-free access to the entire area.

Locating the ZK/U

ZK/U is located in one of Berlin’s former railway depots, a landmark building with an overall footprint of 2000 sqm. Located in Moabit, a central neighborhood of Berlin, it enjoys easy access to transport links. ZK/U is reachable via S+U Beusselstraße, S+U Westhafen or U Birkenstraße.