Berlin & Hamburg: Architecture and Design

18 Sep – 30 Sep 2018

  • Region:
    • Central Europe
    • Europe
    • Germany
  • Status: closed
  • Code: 21831
Your leaders

Tour Highlights

This Berlin & Hamburg Architecture & Design Tour, led by design writer Stephen Crafti, explores the very best of Germany’s contemporary art, architecture, furniture and fashion in Berlin, Dessau and Hamburg.

  • Visit New Tendency – one of Germany’s most sought after young design studios; their work has featured in Wallpaper and Casa Vogue.
  • Meet leading designer Frank Leder, who will discuss his eponymous fashion label with us at his private studio in Charlottenburg.
  • Fashion/textile designer Esther Perbandt hosts us for a private evening at her atelier in Berlin Mitte.
  • View Bocci 79 Satellite Studio and Showroom; renovated by architects Grüntuch-Ernst, the former 19th-century courthouse is now decorated with experimental lighting and pieces from the 10-year-old design brand’s archive.
  • Meet German-American architect Philipp Mohr at his ‘Artist Loft’ in Berlin and visit an apartment in Berlin’s Unité d’Habitation which he refurbished to Le Corbusier’s original plans.
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bauhaus buildings and Masters’ Houses in Dessau.
  • View exquisite hand-made gold and precious metal wallpaper at the Welter Manufactury.
  • By special appointment visit the EY Wavespace, an innovation lab for Ernst & young by KINZO Berlin design agency.
  • Discover two of Berlin’s best private art collections: the Hoffman Collection, housed in the owner Erika Hoffmann’s private apartment, and the unique space of a converted 1942 bunker with the Boros Collection.
  • At the Kunstgewerbemuseum, view important collections of applied arts and crafts; the fashion gallery includes exclusive clothing by Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent.
  • Tour the Hamburger Bahnhof – housing the Museum of Contemporary Art, its collection includes works by Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys and Keith Harings.
  • Dine at the Michelin-starred Pauly Saal Restaurant, featuring dishes by chef Arne Anker, who was sous-chef of ‘The Jane’ in Antwerp.
  • Led by a local architect, we spend a day learning about Hamburg’s latest design projects, including HafenCity, Europe’s largest inner-city urban development project, and the new Stadthöfe-Quartier.
  • Learn about Germany’s first aquatic community and view the interior of a contemporary houseboat.
  • Attend a performance at Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie, completed by Herzog & de Meuron in 2016.
  • As a special highlight, interior designer Peter Nolden will welcome us at his private home, a restored 17th century cottage set in idyllic countryside north of Hamburg.

13-day Architecture and Design Tour of Germany

Overnight Berlin (3 nights) • Dessau (2 nights) • Berlin (4 nights) • Hamburg (3 nights)


The following itinerary lists a range of museums, galleries, buildings and design projects which we plan to visit. The daily activities described in this itinerary may change or be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate alterations in museum opening hours and privately hosted visits. The tour includes breakfast daily, lunches and evening meals as indicated in the itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch, and D=evening meal.

West Berlin - 3 nights

Day 1: Tuesday 18 September, Arrive Berlin
  • Airport transfer for participants arriving on the ‘ASA’ designated flight
  • Welcome Meeting
  • Orientation Walk incl. the Kaiser Wilhelm Church and KaDeWe department store
  • Welcome Dinner at NENI Berlin, 25hours Hotel Bikini

Group members arriving on the ASA ‘designated’ flight will transfer to our hotel after clearing customs. If you are arriving independently, please make your own way to the Swissôtel Berlin.

In the afternoon, following a Welcome Meeting at the hotel, we take an orientation walk in the vicinity of the hotel in the former West Berlin city centre, situated around Kurfürstendamm, the famous KaDaWe department store and the ruined remains of Kaiser Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche.

In 2016, Rem Koolhaas’ Dutch firm OMA revealed plans to overhaul Berlin’s well-known Kaufhaus des Westens, more commonly known as KaDeWe, with the addition of a glass rooftop extension and a series of sculptural new staircases. The much loved historic establishment, which first opened in 1907, has experienced numerous renovations over the years, the most recent being an arched glass ceiling that was added in the 1990s. OMA’s approach will be to treat the structure as four connected shops, each with its own entrance and circulation spaces. The aim is for each “quadrant” to have its own identity. The glazed rooftop extension will span two of these quadrants, replacing the vaulted restaurant that currently forms the top of the building. It will create a new ninth floor of retail, and will slightly alter the profile of the existing structure.

We end the day with a Welcome Dinner at Restaurant NENI Berlin, located on the top floor of the 25hours Bikini Berlin Hotel designed by Studio Aisslinger, facing the Berlin Zoo. Around its entire circumference there is a terrace enabling you to enjoy a breathtaking vista of Gedächtniskirche, Budapester Straße, Kurfürstendamm and City West. Part of the dining room is located within a greenhouse, in keeping with the urban jungle theme of the hotel. The menu is a culinary mosaic of Persian, Russian, Arabic, Moroccan, Turkish, Spanish, German and Austrian influences, and encourages guests to try a little of everything. (Overnight Berlin) D

Day 2: Wednesday 19 September, West Berlin / Charlottenburg

In Charlottenburg we begin by visiting the apartment building containing Frank Leder’s studio. Leder is one of a new wave of fashion designers who are crafting high-end tailored garments for the modern man. “With traditional cuts and the use of vintage trimmings, Frank seeks to create and convey a sense of ‘Germanness’ in his work and has developed a select and loyal following”. Leder studied fashion design at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, gaining an MA with distinction. While studying he sold his works with Loden Schneiders. He later became Art Director and Stylist for fashion lines in ID: Magazine, Sleaze, Qvest and other magazines. In 2000 he set up his own label, ‘Frank Leder’, in London, and a year later the sub-label ‘Raw Power’ with his business partner Michael Ellis. Since 2003 he has contributed designs to Paris Men’s Fashion Week.

To celebrate the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus in 2019, the Bauhaus-Archiv/Museum für Gestaltung closed in early 2018 for an expansive renovation and expansion project. The existing building, designed by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, is to be renovated in accordance with historic monument requirements and will be extended with the addition of a new building. The temporary location of Bauhaus-Archiv recently opened in the Hardenberg House and includes an information centre, a gallery and event area and the bauhaus-shop, which we will have time to visit. The Hardenberg House, a listed building designed by the architect Paul Schwebes, is considered one of the most important office and commercial buildings of post-war modernism in West Berlin.

Following some time at leisure for lunch, we visit the Museum of Photography, housed in a neoclassical building, formerly an army officers’ casino. Since 2004, the museum has presented temporary exhibitions dealing with the life and work of Helmut Newton, one of the most important fashion and portrait photographers of the 20th century.

Today’s final site visit takes in Bocci 79, the satellite headquarters of Canadian lighting brand Bocci, housed in a previously disused 19th-century courthouse. The 44-room building, renovated by architects Grüntuch-Ernst, is now decorated with experimental lighting and pieces from the 10-year-old design brand’s archive. “The six-storey atrium is filled with a hanging installation that contains multiple pendant lights, surrounded by silver bundles that resemble coral. Individual rooms in the building feature different pieces, including a tree-shaped sculpture with circular lighting panels held on the end of branches, and a cloud of globular lights ( Founder Omer Arbel established Bocci in 2005. The company is best known for its 28 Series pendant light, which it has used to create a variety of installations including a giant colourful chandelier at London’s V&A museum. (Overnight Berlin) B

Day 3: Thursday 20 September, Berlin Mitte / Potsdamer Straße
  • Guided tour by local architect visiting the Deutscher Bundestag Dome, Reichstag & government area, DZ-Bank (exterior), Pariser Platz
  • EY Wavespace Innovation Lab by KINZO Berlin design agency 
  • Visits to concept stores on Potsdamer Strasse including Andreas Murkudis and Fiona Bennett

We depart early this morning and travel by public transport to the Unter den Linden, Berlin’s most famous boulevard, and walk towards the Brandenburg Gate. We first visit the Deutscher Bundestag (parliament), with one of the most interesting constructions in Europe. Sir Norman Foster designed an extraordinary glass dome to replace that destroyed in the Reichstag Fire (1933) and from which visitors gain a wonderful panorama of the city. Across the road at the Pariser Platz we visit the architect of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao – Frank Gehry’s fabulous DZ-Bank, a spectacular contemporary building that contrasts dramatically with the stately architecture of the Brandenburg Gate. It reflects the explosion of imaginative architecture that is transforming the old imperial city.

By special appointment, we next visit a recent project by KINZO Berlin design agency. The project’s leader, Daniel von Seld, will meet and guide us through the EY Wavespace, an innovation lab created for accounting firm Ernst & Young. The pioneering interior concept provides a digital workshop space centred around flexibility and modularity: the different system components include wheels, so they can be moved around freely and connected in various formations using a specially developed BUS-system derived from space technology. Founded in 2005 by Karim El-Ishmawi, Martin Jacobs and Chris Middleton, KINZO offers customised design, interior design, and architectural solutions with a holistic approach.

The rest of the afternoon will be spent visiting a number of Berlin’s concept stores in the area of northern Schöneberg, bordering on Potsdamer Platz, an aspiring location for galleries, design shops, bars and restaurants. Inside the former Tagesspiegel newspaper building is Andreas Murkudis’ new concept store designed by Gonzales Haase, well known for its outstanding choice of products including high fashion collections by Céline and Dries van Noten, delicate porcelain designs by Nymphenburg and the sweet chocolate products of Hamann. We also visit the concept store of hat designer, Fiona Bennett, one of the most successful milliners in Germany. (Overnight Berlin) B

Dessau - 2 nights

Day 4: Friday 21 September, Berlin – Dessau

This morning, we transfer by private coach to the Welter Manufactury. Founded by Ulrich Welter, his team of designers and product developers create high quality, hand-made wallpaper and wall-panels, using a wide selection of high-quality materials including gold metal-leaf, beads, crystals and minerals. Welter is particularly famous for their wide selection of gold and precious metal wallpaper. “Welter’s designers use genuine metal-leaf, consisting of very thinly beaten metal squares. They lay it by hand onto the wallpaper. The distinctive feature of these surfaces is the faint visibility of the applied gold-leaf squares and the captivating metal sheen. Apart from metal-leaf, also gold-leaf, silver, copper and palladium are used to produce some extraordinary wallpaper. By using a special technique, the Welter-team manages to combine the sheen of precious metal with raw colour structures”.

Following lunch, we meet German-American architect, industrial designer and artist Philipp Mohr, who will welcome us at his loft in Neukölln and also show us an apartment in Berlin’s Unité d’Habitation, which he refurbished according to Le Corbusier’s original plans.

Mohr studied architecture and fine arts at the Bauhaus Weimar, Cooper Union New York, and Polytechnic University Milan. In 1991 he founded Philipp Mohr Design Studio LLC, a Berlin and Brooklyn based creative collective of visionaries with a range of 1-20 artists, designers, architects and copyrighters. In collaboration with artists and designers such as Tobias Wong, Desi Santiago, Ju$t Another Rich Kid, Robert The and others, Mohr and his team have created exhibitions and art objects displayed at the Louvre in Paris, MoMA, SF MoMA, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Collette Paris/ Tokyo, Moss/ New York and Costume National in SoHO/ New York.

During our visit, Philipp will talk to us about his work, design inspirations, and story behind the renovation of his artist loft in Berlin. Housed in a historical tenement building in the hip, bohemian neighbourhood of Neukölln, the apartment incorporates glass and steel window structures inspired by Berlin’s nightlife and underground scene. Design elements such as vintage Bauhaus doorhandles, vintage Berlin doors and door frames, and restoration of the typical wood floor, reference the long history of architecture, style and residential construction in Berlin.

We shall then transfer by coach to the Berlin Unite d’Habitation or Corbusierhaus, designed by Le Corbusier for the International Building Exhibition of 1957. Completed in 1959, the Corbusierhaus was designed to be identical to the original Unité d’Habitation in Marseilles, regarded as one of the most influential Brutalist buildings of all time, however its interior plan was drastically altered following a disagreement between Le Corbusier and the local planning authorities. Mohr bought one of the Berlin apartments in 2016 with the intention of renovating it and selling the property. On first entering, the apartment’s interior was starkly different to Le Corbusier’s original proposal: ‘It was all entirely white and looked more like a prison, or the typical 1980s German social housing, than anything Corbusier had ever designed.’ Following research at the Foundation Le Corbusier and the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris, Mohr set himself the goal of refurbishing it to the architect’s original design. He lowered the ceiling and manipulated the walls according to the original plans, chose a bright colour-scheme based on research into Le Corbusier’s writings on colour theory, and sourced furniture and lighting by Le Corbusier, and some of his contemporaries, including his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, Jean Prouvé and Charlotte Perriand, to complete the interior. The apartment was recently sold fully furnished and we shall enjoy an exclusive visit hosted by its new owners.

We then continue by coach to Dessau where we will be based for the next two nights. (Overnight Dessau) BLD

Day 5: Saturday 22 September, Dessau
  • Bauhaus Building: School Building and Permanent Exhibition (Walter Gropius, 1926)
  • Masters’ Houses (Walter Gropius, 1926)
  • Kiosk (Mies van der Rohe, 1932)
  • The Steel House (Georg Muche and Richard Paulick, 1926-27)
  • Törten Housing Estate (Walter Gropius, 1926-28)
  • Kornhaus Restaurant (Carl Fieger, 1929-30)

We spend the day visiting the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage listed Bauhaus buildings and Masters’ Houses of Dessau. Between 1919 and 1933 the Bauhaus School, based first in Weimar and then in Dessau, revolutionized architectural and aesthetic concepts and practices. The buildings put up and decorated by the school’s professors (Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Wassily Kandinsky) launched the Modern Movement, which shaped much of the architecture of the 20th century.

We first visit the Bauhaus building, which combines functionalism with an outstanding architectonic quality, using modern materials such as glass and reinforced concrete. Originally a school of design, it currently houses the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. Our guided tour includes the permanent exhibition, Walter Gropius’ room, and the Bauhaus stage, canteen and dormitory.

Designed by Walter Gropius in 1926, the Masters’ Houses are the Bauhaus’ outstanding architectural achievements. Their influential white cubic forms and complex flow of space between interior and exterior also reflect the debate over modernist standardisation in housing construction. They are famous as homes and studios of eminent Bauhaus artists like Lyonel Feininger, Paul Klee or Wassily Kandinsky.

The refreshment kiosk near the Masters’ Houses was the only building realised by the third Bauhaus director Mies van der Rohe. The kiosk was not designed as a standard pavilion, but built into the two-metre-high garden wall surrounding the Gropius House. Demolished in 1962 it was replaced by a fence. With the repair of the Masters’ Houses (2014) by Berlin-based architects BFM the kiosk, also restored, returned to its original function, reduced to its pure form in a contemporary interpretation.

The German Weimar Republic (1919-1933) suffered a shortage of affordable residential housing, making social housing a political priority. The City of Dessau commissioned the Bauhaus director Walter Gropius to build 314 single-family houses in the suburb of Törten. The Törten Estate was constructed over three main building phases with three different house types. To keep living costs low, houses had gardens where inhabitants could grow vegetables and fruit and keep small livestock.

Carl Fieger’s Kornhaus Restaurant, where we shall have dinner, was erected on the banks of the river Elbe in 1930; Fieger was a draughtsman in Walter Gropius’s practice. (Overnight Dessau) BLD

East Berlin - 4 nights

Day 6: Sunday 23 September, Dessau – Berlin

This morning we return to Berlin by coach. On arrival we take a guided tour of Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum, arguably the most significant example of contemporary architecture in Berlin, noted for its unique architecture and exhibition layout, which  have led to a radical new understanding of museum design worldwide.

The nearby König Galerie, founded by Johann König in 2002, currently represents 30 international, established and emerging artists working in a variety of media including sculpture, video, sound, painting, printmaking, photography and performance. The gallery has successfully placed works in a variety of private and public collections, including New York’s MoMA and the Guggenheim Foundation. The artists represented have solo exhibitions with institutions worldwide and are regularly shown in prestigious group exhibitions such as Documenta and the biennials in Venice, Berlin and New York.

We end our day with a private tour of the Boros Collection, a unique treasure trove of contemporary art housed in a five-storey converted bunker in the heart of Berlin-Mitte. Originally built in 1942 as an air raid shelter, the building was carefully renovated by German art collector, ad agency founder and publisher, Christian Boros, and transformed into a 3000 sqm exhibition space. Opened since June 2008, the Boros Collection comprises groups of works dating from 1990 to the present by international artists such as Damian Hirst, Olafur Eliasson, Elizabeth Peyton, Wolfgang Tillmans, Anselm Reyle, Manfred Pernice, Tobias Rehberger, John Bock, Wilhelm Sasnal and Michel Majerus. Many of the exhibited works were envisioned and installed by the artists themselves, and some of them were created especially for the bunker. Showcasing newly purchased and site specific works as well as works from the 1990s by 19 international artists, the new exhibition “Boros Collection / Bunker Berlin #3” opened to the public in 2017 and similarly to the two precedent shows, will run for four years until 2021. (Overnight Berlin) B

Day 7: Monday 24 September, Kreuzberg / Berlin Mitte

This morning we travel by U-bahn to the Museum der Dinge, a museum of 20th and 21st century product culture, characterised by the industrial mass production of goods. It presents its collections of 20th century design and everyday culture in the form of a walk-through warehouse. The permanent exhibition includes the Frankfurt Kitchen designed in 1926 by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, which became the architectural prototype for all modern kitchens.

Following lunch at leisure, we visit New Tendency – one of Germany’s most sought after young design studios. In Bauhaus tradition, New Tendency creates products characterized by conceptual design, clean aesthetics and functional form. The collection of furniture and accessories, developed under the creative direction of Manuel Goller, consists of original products as well as collaborations with selected designers and architects such as Clemens Tissi amongst others. The company has featured in numerous international publications including Wallpaper and Casa Vogue. Their work includes the design of the Dutch eyewear brand Ace & Tate’s flagship store in Berlin Mitte, furniture for the Berlin Showcase apartment developed by Freunde von Freunden magazine in collaboration with Magis, and a set of graphically-shaped stools for the Hotel Wallpaper bar.

We end our day with a private evening at the atelier of fashion and textile designer Esther Perbandt. Esther was “born and raised in Berlin, toughened in Moscow and polished in Paris”. She completed a European Master’s degree in Fashion and Textile Design in Paris and a post-graduate study at the Institut Français de la Mode. Running her signature label since 2004, the avant-garde designer has proven herself a staying power on national and international markets. Her designs are distinctive, idiosyncratic and a hundred percent authentic. Esther will welcome us at her Berlin Mitte based shop and adjoining atelier, and talk about her background, visions and philosophy, cooperations with artist and musicians, and links between fashion and architecture in her work. (Overnight Berlin) B

Day 8: Tuesday 25 September, Berlin Mitte / Kulturforum
  • Tchoban Foundation Museum for Architectural Drawing
  • Guided tour of the Sammlung Hoffmann private art collection
  • Lunch at LA Poke Restaurant, designed by Ester Bruzkus Architekten
  • Architecture tour of the Kulturforum including exteriors of the Neue Nationalgalerie, Gemäldegalerie & Philharmonie
  • Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts), Kulturforum

Our first visit this morning is to the The Tchoban Foundation’s Museum for Architectural Drawing, which opened in June 2013. Architect Sergei Tchoban, himself a passionate draftsman and collector of historic architectural drawings, created the foundation in 2009 and also donated a part of his collection to it. Located on the site of a former brewery, the five-storey museum was designed by Russian architecture collective SPEECH Tchoban & Kuznetsov. The building’s architecture – with its light floor “blocks” that appear to have been stacked on top of one another and its exterior relief featuring details from architectural drawings – alludes to the very function of the structure and is crowned with a glass penthouse offering panoramic views. We shall take a guided tour of the collection, which consists of architectural drawings from the from the 16th to the 21st century with a focus on Russian Constructivists, and presents works by big names such as Mies van der Rohe, Frank Gehry and Charles Friedrich Schinkel.

Next we make our way to the Sammlung Hoffmann, a private art collection housed in a two-storey converted sewing machine factory in the heart of Berlin. Erika Hoffmann and her late husband Rolf Hoffmann have been collecting contemporary art in their home and workspace for over 40 years. The collection features contemporary works of art in a range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography and video. Amidst their treasure trove are pieces by Basquiat, Nan Goldin, Mike Kelley, and German sculptor Isa Genzken. Erika regularly rearranges the collection, to keep things fresh. Some of the works of art are put back into storage, while others are simply moved to another room. Works from the depot are joined by relevant new acquisitions.

Lunch today will be at LA Poke, a new restaurant specialised in Hawaiian-style Poke Bowls. Berlin-based architecture and interior design firm, Ester Bruzkus Architekten, drew its inspiration for the interior from Hockney’s 1967 painting A Bigger Splash and “the chill mood of the American West Coast”. Using color and material contrasts, the architects playfully toy with horizon lines, framed vistas and surprising one’s expectations. Ester Bruzkus Architekten also designed the lightweight furniture that fills the space, to further emphasise a relaxed, pool-side atmosphere.

In the afternoon, we take an architectural walking tour of the Kulturforum containing a cluster of cultural buildings developed in the 1950s and 60s in the Modernist style. Our tour includes a visit to the spectacular Philharmonie of 1963, designed by Hans Scharoun and home of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Its swooping, freeform design and gold-coloured cladding anticipate by some decades the architecture of the 1990s and 2000s. Nearby is a library, also by Scharoun, a striking science centre in pink and blue stripes by James Stirling, and the Gemäldegalerie designed by Munich architects Heinz Hilmer and Christoph Sattler. There is also the Neue Nationalgalerie, an imposing steel and glass box, designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1968 and currently under renovation by David Chipperfield Architects. Most recently the Swiss firm, Herzog & de Meuron, was chosen to create the new ‘nationalgalerie20’ (Museum of the 20th Century), which will be connected to the Neue Nationalgalerie via an underground tunnel doubling as an exhibition space.

Our visit ends with a guided tour of the Kunstgewerbemuseum which houses an important collection of applied arts and crafts including outstanding collections of fashion and design. Exhibits include magnificent reliquaries made of gold and precious gemstones, exquisite vases of glass and porcelain, finely embroidered textiles, ornate inlaid furniture and complete sets of wall panelling such as the Chamber of Mirrors from Schloss Wiesentheid, as well as classic examples of modern industrial design. The fashion gallery displays approximately 130 costumes and as many accessories, dating from the 18th century to the present day, with exclusive clothing of Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. (Overnight Berlin) BL

Day 9: Wednesday 26 September, Berlin Mitte

This morning we take an architectural guided tour of the Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site which is currently being renovated according to the master plan by the architect David Chipperfield. Our tour includes:

  • Antes Museum (1830): restored 2010/11)  by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Hilmer & Sattler and Albrecht, domed hall and grand staircase;
  • Lustgarten (Pleasure Garden: early 19th c.) by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, restored (1997-) by Hans Loidl;
  • Neo-Renaissance Berlin Cathedral (inaugurated 1905) by Julius Carl and Otto Raschdorff;
  • Alte Nationalgalerie (1861)  by Friedrich August Stiller, Heinrich Strack, (restored 1998-2001) by HG Merz, foyer and staircase building;
  • Kolonnadenhof (colonnades at entrance to Alte Nationalgalerie, restored / renovated by Levin Monsigny;
  • Neues Museum of Friedrich August Stiller, David Chipperfield, Julian Harrap, visit the foyer and large stair hall;
  • Gallery at Kupfergraben and site of the James Simon Gallery by David Chipperfield;
  • Pergamon Museum (1910-) by Alfred Messel and Ludwig Hoffmann, being transformed by OM Ungers Jan Kleihues, Walter Noebel;
  • Bode Museum of Ernst von Ihne, Heinz Tesar, visit to the two domed halls.

There will be some time at leisure this afternoon and you may wish to visit the Gemäldegalerie which holds one of the world’s leading collections of European paintings from the 13th to the 18th centuries. Its collection includes masterpieces by van Eyck, Bruegel, Dürer, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Rubens, Jan Vermeer’s Young Lady with String of Pearls, and one of the world’s largest collections of Rembrandts.

Tonight we dine together at the Pauly Saal. This Michelin-starred restaurant wows diners with a truly unique setting; it is housed in the former gymnasium of a Bauhaus-era Jewish girls’ school and includes custom-designed Murano chandeliers and eye-catching art by Cosima von Bonin and Daniel Richter. It features dishes with distinctive flavours by chef Arne Anker who was sous-chef of ‘The Jane’ in Antwerp, the culinary laboratory of triple-Michelin starred Sergio Herman. (Overnight Berlin) BD

Hamburg - 3 nights

Day 10: Thursday 27 September, Berlin – Hamburg
  • Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Early afternoon train to Hamburg (ICE1512 Berlin HBF to Hamburg HBF, 1342-1524hrs)
  • Flagship store of lighting designer, Tobias Grau, Stilwerk

This morning we take a guided tour of the Hamburger Bahnhof, the former 19th-century railway station for trains running to the Hanseatic city of Hamburg, which now houses the Museum of Contemporary Art. Considered as one of the world’s most successful exhibition spaces for contemporary art, it displays works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Keith Haring as well as many innovative contemporary artists. Since 2004, in the adjacent Rieck-Hallen, there have been rotating special exhibitions with works drawn from the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection; they comprise works by artists of the latter half of the 20th century, among them Bruce Nauman, Sol LeWitt, Nam June Paik, Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke. Prior to our tour you may wish to enjoy lunch at the museum’s well-known Sarah Wiener Café.

In the early afternoon we board the inter-city express train to Hamburg. On arrival, we shall transfer to Stilwerk in Fischmarkt. The industrial building dating to 1907, features a steel concrete skeleton with a red-brick façade adorned with dazzling arches and ornaments. The shopping centre consists of 28 stores; we shall visit the flagship store of Tobias Grau, one of Germany’s most successful lighting designers and manufacturers. Trained at the Parson School of Design in New York, he has designed numerous award-winning lighting fixtures including modern classics such as ‘Tai’, ‘Bill’, ‘George’ and ‘Soon’, as well as various luminaires for office projects. (Overnight Hamburg) B

Day 11: Friday 28 September, Hamburg

Accompanied by a local architect, we spend a full day exploring a range of projects in and around the city. We begin with a visit to the ‘Haus im Haus’ in the Chamber of Commerce designed by Behnisch Architekten. Built within the existing neo-classical Börsenhalle, the light, free-floating character of this new multi-floor extension is complemented and accentuated by a LED lighting system.

We then make our way to the new Stadthoefe-Quartier (City Courtyards Quarter). The overall concept – by David Chipperfield Architects, Kuehn Malvezzi Architects, and Hamburg-based firm Stephen Williams Associates – offers space for retail, restaurants, residences, a hotel, and office space. The façades of the heritage building are largely preserved and are being reconstructed. The conversion concept provides a connection to the five courtyards and, in addition to apartments and retail space, an exclusive design hotel, the Tortue Hamburg, has recently been completed.

We continue with a visit to HafenCity – Europe’s largest inner-city urban development project, located along the Elbe River. The InfoCenter provides a range of interesting thematic exhibitions including a model of the Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall, and an impressive 1:500 scale-model of the HafenCity project. Our tour also includes Baufeld 10, an apartment building by Austrian architects LOVE architecture and an interior visit of one of the apartments, which has a wonderful roof terrace with direct views of the Elbphilharmonie.

Next we visit the factory of fashion design label, Thomas I-Punkt. Established in the early 70s, this family-run business offers, with a store in Gänsemarkt, its own Omen collection designed by its owner. All items are produced in the company’s sewing and knitting studio in Hamburg-Rothenburgsort. Many of the fabrics are sourced from highly specialised weaving mills in Japan, Belgium and Italy.

The company’s founder, Thomas Friese, was involved with the project to transform the Elbepark Entenwerder into a new place for culture. Located on a pontoon in the middle of the Norderelbe stands the Golden Pavilion of Arts and Culture and the adjacent Café Entenwerder I, where we shall have lunch. The 12-metre high pavilion featuring a gold-coloured, perforated brass skin, was designed by Jan Kampshoff and Marc Günnewig from Modulorbeat as a temporary sculptural piece for the exhibition ‘Switch’ in Munich. It was due to be re-melted but was purchased by Thomas Friese and transferred to Hamburg.

In 2006, the city of Hamburg approved ten moorings for houseboats for Germany’s very first aquatic community. This afternoon we view a number of houseboats on Eibek Kanal including those designed by architects Tun-Architektur, Rost Niderehe, Alexander und Dahling, format 21 and baubüro.eins. Our program includes an exclusive interior visit to one of these.

The Peter Schmidt Group is one of Germany’s top three branding agencies and has been designing successful brands since 1972. Recent projects include the re-design of the 19th floor of Atlantic House in the St Pauli district which offers spectacular views over the harbour (visit to be confirmed).

This evening we attend a concert at the new Elbphilharmonie, completed by Herzog & de Meuron in 2016. The building complex accommodates a philharmonic hall, a chamber music hall, restaurants, bars, a panorama terrace with views of Hamburg and the harbour, apartments, and a hotel. Highlights of the building include its wave-like façade and central auditorium – a gleaming ivory cave built from 10,000 unique acoustic panels that line the ceiling, walls, and balustrades. Herzog and De Meuron used algorithms to generate a unique shape for each of the 10,000 gypsum fiber acoustic panels that line the auditorium’s walls like the interlocking pieces of a giant, undulating puzzle. The effect is stunning.

His debut in the newly-opened Elbphilharmonie was originally scheduled for May 2017, but illness then prevented Christoph von Dohnányi’s long-awaited return to the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. Tonight the orchestra’s former principal conductor finally gets the chance to make his debut in the concert hall whose construction he staunchly supported at the time. On the programme is a work from the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra’s core repertoire worthy of the occasion: Anton Bruckner’s monumental Eighth Symphony. (Overnight Hamburg) BL

Day 12: Saturday 29 September, Hamburg – Schleswig-Holstein – Hamburg

We end our tour with a special visit to the private home of Hamburg-based interior designer Peter Nolden. This charming 17th century thatched-roof farmhouse sits in the idyllic countryside of Schleswig-Holstein, just over an hour’s drive north of Hamburg, on a man-made island in the region’s floodplains about 10 miles from the North Sea. Authenticity is very important to Peter, a designer with a passion for history, and most of the furniture is sourced from Scandinavia as the cottage was originally built during the period when this region belonged to Denmark. Other features like the stone floors and red ceilings, uncovered by the previous owner, were what drew Peter to purchase this home. It also demonstrates his approach to interior design, by sourcing everything for a property that is “made or found”.

Following a light lunch at a local restaurant, we return to Hamburg to visit the arts and crafts house Koppel 66, home to Stefan Fink Schreibgeräte, manufacturer of fine fountain pens. ‘Stefan Fink is renowned for his high-precision quality work, especially in Japan. In his Hamburg studio, Stefan Fink manufactures sensuous fountain pens made of rosewood, Jacaranda and bog oak, with 18 carat gold nibs. All of his pieces are characterised by a puristic elegance, and some of the pens take up to five years to complete’. Koppel 66 is also home to 20 other arts and crafts manufacturers, among them master shoemaker Annabelle Stephan.

The rest afternoon is at leisure followed by a farewell dinner at the Brasserie Die Bank. Housed in a former 19th-century bank, Michelin-starred chef, Thomas Fischer, serves creative dishes using seasonal ingredients. (Overnight Hamburg) BLD

Day 13: Sunday 30 September, Hamburg. Tour Ends.
  • Departure transfer for participants travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flight

Participants taking the ‘designated’ ASA flight will transfer to Hamburg Airport. If you are not taking this flight you should find your own way to the airport, or consult ASA for transfer assistance. B


13-day Architecture and Design Tour of Germany

ASA has selected 4- and 5-star hotels that are all centrally located. All hotels provide rooms with en suite bathroom. Double/twin rooms for single occupancy may be requested – and are subject to availability and payment of the Double (as Single) Supplement. Further information on hotels will be provided in the ‘Tour Hotel List’ given to tour members prior to their departure.

  • West Berlin (3 nights): 5-star Swissôtel Berlin Am Kurfürstendamm – a modern hotel located in the heart of West Berlin on the famous Kurfürstendamm shopping boulevard, close to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, as well as art galleries and museums. Room type: Classic Rooms.
  • Dessau (2 nights): 4-star Radisson Blu First Leopold Hotel – a modern hotel, in the Bauhaus-style of architecture, located in the town centre. Room type: Standard Rooms.
  • East Berlin (4 nights): 4-star Adina Apartment Hotel Berlin Hackescher Markt – located on the lively Hackescher Markt Square in the heart of the Mitte District. Room type: Studio Rooms for single or twin use and One-Bedroom apartments for double use.
  • Hamburg (3 nights): 5-star SIDE Design Hotel – located in the city centre; featuring spacious accommodation, a spa with pool, and a rooftop terrace. Room type: Superior Rooms.

Note: Hotels are subject to change. In this instance a hotel of similar standard will be provided.

How to book

Make a Reservation


Please complete the ASA RESERVATION APPLICATION and send it to Australians Studying Abroad together with your non-refundable deposit of AUD $500.00 per person payable to Australians Studying Abroad.

Passport Details

All participants must provide no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the program a photocopy of the front page of their current passport.

Double (as Single) Supplement

Payment of this supplement will ensure accommodation in a double (or twin) room for single occupancy throughout the tour. The number of rooms available for single occupancy is extremely limited. People wishing to take this supplement are therefore advised to book well in advance.

Gallery Tour Map
Physical Endurance & Practical Information
Physical Rating

The number of flags is a guide to the degree of difficulty of ASA tours relative to each other (not to those of other tour companies). It is neither absolute nor literal. One flag is given to the least taxing tours, seven to the most. Flags are allocated, above all, according to the amount of walking and standing each tour involves. Nevertheless, all ASA tours require that participants have a good degree of fitness enabling 2-3 hours walking or 1-1.5 hours standing still on any given site visit or excursion. Many sites are accessed by climbing slopes or steps and have uneven terrain.

This 13-day Architecture and Design Tour of Germany involves:

  • Exploring Berlin, Dessau and Hamburg on foot.
  • Extensive walking (up to 5km per day) and standing during museum and other site visits. Walking tours may include steep slopes, flights of stairs, cobbled streets and uneven ground.
  • Extensive use of public transport. When using the U-Bahn or S-Bahn, participants may need to negotiate many short flights of stairs.
  • You must be able to carry your own hand luggage. Hotel porterage includes 1 piece of luggage per person.
  • The use of audio headsets which amplify the voice of your guide (despite noisy surroundings). This technology also allows you to move freely during site visits without missing any information.

It is important to remember that ASA programs are group tours, and slow walkers affect everyone in the group. As the group must move at the speed of the slowest member, the amount of time spent at a site may be reduced if group members cannot maintain a moderate walking pace. ASA tours should not present any problem for active people who can manage day-to-day walking and stair-climbing. However, if you have any doubts about your ability to manage on a program, please ask your ASA travel consultant whether this is a suitable tour for you.

Please note: it is a condition of travel that all participants agree to accept ASA’s directions in relation to their suitability to participate in activities undertaken on the tour, and that ASA retains the sole discretion to direct a tour participant to refrain from a particular activity on part of the tour. For further information please refer to the ASA Reservation Application Form.

Practical Information

Prior to departure, tour members will receive practical notes which include information on visa requirements, health, photography, weather, clothing and what to pack, custom regulations, bank hours, currency regulations, electrical appliances and food. The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers:

Tour Price & Inclusions

AUD $7780 Land Content Only – Early-Bird Special: Book before 30 September 2017

AUD $7980.00 Land Content Only

AUD $1680.00 Double (as Single) Supplement

For competitive Economy, Business or First Class airfares and/or group airfares please contact ASA for further information.

Tour Price (Land Content Only) includes:
  • Accommodation in twin-share rooms with en suite bathroom in 4- and 5-star hotels
  • Breakfast daily, lunches and evening meals as indicated in the itinerary, where: B=breakfast, L=lunch and D=evening meal
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals do not have drinks included.
  • Porterage of one piece of luggage per person at hotels (not at airports or at railway stations)
  • Transportation by air-conditioned coach and public transport as outlined in the itinerary
  • Train to Hamburg Day 10 (ICE1512 Berlin HBF to Hamburg HBF, 1342-1524hrs)
  • Lecture and site-visit program
  • Airport-hotel transfers if travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flights
  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Use of audio headsets during site visits
  • Tips for the coach driver, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tour Price (Land Content Only) does not include:
  • Airfare: Australia-Berlin, Hamburg-Australia
  • Airport-hotel transfers if not travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flights
  • Personal spending money
  • Luggage in excess of 20kg (44lbs)
  • Travel insurance
Terms & Conditions

A deposit of $500.00 AUD per person is required to reserve a place on an ASA tour.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 75 days before departure: $500.00**
  • 75-46 days prior 25% of total amount due
  • 45-31 days prior 50% of total amount due
  • 30-15 days prior 75% of total amount due
  • 14-0 days prior 100% of total amount due

**This amount may be credited to another ASA tour departing within 12 months of the original tour you booked. We regret, in this case early-bird discounts will not apply. We take the day on which you cancel as being that on which we recieve written confirmation of cancellation.

Unused Portions of the Tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Will the Tour Price or Itinerary Change?

If the number of participants on a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates ASA reserves the right to amend the advertised price. We shall, however, do all in our power to maintain the published price. If an ASA tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all tour monies paid. Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of ASA make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes in due course.

Travel Insurance

ASA requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. A copy of your travel insurance certificate and the reverse charge emergency contact phone number must be received by ASA no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the tour.

Final Payment

The balance of the tour price will be due 75 days prior to the tour commencement date.

Limitation of Liability

ASA is not a carrier, event or tourist attraction host, accommodation or dining service provider. All bookings made and tickets or coupons issued by ASA for transport, event, accommodation, dining and the like are issued as an agent for various service providers and are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by each service provider. ASA is not responsible for their products or services. If a service provider does not deliver the product or service for which you have contracted, your remedy lies with the service provider, not ASA.

ASA will not be liable for any claim (eg. sickness, injury, death, damage or loss) arising from any change, delay, detention, breakdown, cancellation, failure, accident, act, omission or negligence of any such service provider however caused (contingencies). You must take out adequate travel insurance against such contingencies.

ASA’s liability in respect of any tour will be limited to the refund of amounts received from you less all non-refundable costs and charges and the costs of any substituted event or alternate services provided. The terms and conditions of the relevant service provider from time to time comprise the sole agreement between you and that service provider.

ASA reserves the sole discretion to cancel any tour or to modify itineraries in any way it considers appropriate. Tour costs may be revised, subject to unexpected price increases or exchange rate fluctuations.

Interested in this tour?
Take the next step

Make an Enquiry now

or alternatively Download PDF Reservation Application

Discover our related articles and events before you take your journey