Silent Green Kulturquartier in Berlin, Germany

Entrance to the old crematorium in Wedding.

In 1911, Berlin got its first crematorium: a dramatic, domed building that stands amidst a graveyard in the multicultural district of Wedding. After it closed in 2002, holding its final cremations, a group of Berliners reinvented the space as a hub for art, events, and learning. 

The former crematorium is owned and run by Silent Green, an organization whose investors include filmmaker and director Jörg Heitmann and developer Frank Duske, who has been involved in urban development projects. Their transformation of the historic building fits in with Berlin’s tradition of reinventing abandoned buildings.

Silent Green’s most notable feature is probably the acoustics and atmosphere of concerts held in the main area, with its dome, where mourners once gathered. The café on the premises, MARS, is a nice place for brunch, sandwiches, or even dinner, on occasion, and the garden is quiet and relaxing.