In collaboration with award-winning architects and interior designers and the support of the property owner, Source & Fluence is embarking on a project to renovate, repurpose, rebrand and reanimate the 300m2 ground floor and basement space in a historic building on Potsdamer Strasse in the Tiergarten district of Berlin. The new place is conceived as an art and social club, complete with a stage for live performances, equipped with a state-of-the-art audiovisual system, boasting a gallery for immersive 360° floor-to-ceiling video art projections, bar, and lounge furnished with a fireplace. Throughout the daytime during the week, the space is intended as a laid-back coworking facility for creatives in the field of multimedia.

Similar in spirit to the renovation project in Beesenstedt, it is driven by the idea that heritage belongs to everyone and our calling is to recover, preserve, invigorate and to pass it on.

Space Layout & Immersive Experience

History & Cultural Significance

Potsdamer 96 is a five-story building that dates back to the late 19th century. In 1913, partly residential on top, it hosted the Biophon Theater Lichtspiele on the ground floor. It was the very first biophon theater in Berlin. The building sustained almost no damage during World War II and the place reopened nearly as soon as the war ended, operating until 1967, when it closed. For a time it stood empty until its interior space was converted into a restaurant and ballroom known as the "Veilchen am Potsdamer". The "violets" soon wilted, however, and the building changed owners in the 1970s.

It was acquired by the founders of Steve Club and Quasimodo, two popular music joints in Charlottenburg back in the days. They named the acquisition "Quartier Latin'' – with reference to Paris, as some suggest. It is just as likely that the name alludes to one underground swing club in pre-war Berlin. Catering to international upper-crust clientele in the 1930s, the original Quartier Latin was reportedly by far the most exclusive, "Berlin's swankiest, smoothest and snootiest night spot, which was not only Germany's finest boite de nuit, but indeed one of the most select establishments on the continent." An ordinary beer was so expensive that even fairly well-off patrons could hardly afford it. The spot was so hot that even the Nazis in power, deeming it profoundly decadent, were helpless in their periodic attempts to shut it down. If only because the police commissioner for Berlin, Count Wolf-Heinrich von Helldorf, absolutely loved the Quartier Latin club, and attended regularly. With protection like that, it was in little danger at that time.

For whatever reasons, the new Quartier Latin never gained momentum and the owners sold it in 1972 to a married couple from Hamburg. The buyers kept the name and ran it as a pub in the foyer where they would occasionally invite musicians to entertain guests.

It is reported that a certain Klaus Achterberg, a journalist and photographer with whom the couple entered into a collaboration, saw much more potential in the place. Planning concerts, creating and curating monthly programs, he took the project up to the next level. By the mid 70s, Quartier Latin evolved to become one of the major clubs in West Berlin, a site of numerous festivals with a repertoire in the range as broad as folk, jazz, rock, punk and new wave.

It is largely due to its hard-earned status as a prime cultural facility that in 1981 Quartier Latin was thoroughly refurbished with funding from the Senate, which had allocated over half a million marks for the purpose of maintaining the project and furthering its cultural agenda.

The book Quartier Latin: Berlins Legendärer Musikladen 1970–1989, published in 2019, meticulously covers it all: memories, interviews and anecdotes, in the words of both performers and attendees; photographs, programs, posters and tickets. On its 368 copiously illustrated pages, the authors bring the two-decade history of this iconic place to life, recreating the events in memory to some and, to others, offering a glimpse into the subcultural atmosphere of the era.
Among other materials, the book lists all the lineups for gigs ever scheduled at Quartier Latin. In total, almost 6,000 events took place here from 1970 to 1989. One learns that it is at Quartier Latin where Udo Lindenberg, Nina Hagen and Die Ärzte gave their first ever gigs. A quick glance through the pages reveals Einstürzende Neubauten, Pankow, Phillip Boa and the Voodooclub, Nico, Nena, Eurythmics, Echo & the Bunnymen, Uriah Heep, Sun Ra Arkestra, Tangerine Dream, John Lee Hooker, Eruption, Scorpions, Prodigy, Anthrax, The Pogues, Frankie Bones...

Quartier Latin was the premiere hangout for musicians and music aficionados. The cultural life of the walled city in the 70's and 80s was simply unimaginable without Quartier Latin in the picture. What happened to it after the fall of the wall is another story and not particularly eloquent, eclipsed by the lights of the famed Wintergarten Varieté that now occupies most of the premises at Potsdamer 96. In other words, things have changed but life goes on in this old building. With our project we aspire to make this life even more resonant, colorful and fulfilling.
A SFB TV reportage on the 1981 reopening of Latin Quarter, which was renovated with public funds, endorsed by the Senate.

Main Floor Setup



Mood Board