In October 2018 the Space for Arts team spent the better part of a week in Berlin introducing SfA to the local market. During the course of the team’s stay a number of Berlin photo studios were visited. The team was fascinated by the story of Lux & Asa, in the Lichtenberg neighborhood of Berlin, as told to them by co-founder Jan Kraus.
“We opened our doors in March 2016 after Max and I spent a year renovating and rehabbing the space. We were a bit naïve about how much work it would take to renovate 3,250 square feet of space in an industrial warehouse,creating a photo/film studio from scratch. I guess it was good that we just started working without thinking too much about the challenge we were facing. Without the help of friends and family and most importantly, Bruno, we would not have been able to create the special space which is Lux &Asa. To all of these folks we owe an endless “thank you”.
The warehouse is located in East Berlin – the former communist part of Berlin – and was part of a huge industrial complex. We tore down walls and took out tons of rubble, only to refill the floor with 2.5tons of concrete to level it again. Next it was pressure washing the wall, for 4 weeks, which were black from 30 years of heavy East German industry. Finally, about 2 or 3 months into the project we realized that we would need professional help. A friend recommended a carpenter. A couple of days later Bruno showed up– had a look at the place and declared us crazy for starting the project with such limited construction skills or experience. He never left.
Over 9 months Bruno helped us create the studio of our dreams. We became good friends with this interesting man who had spent the previous 27 years traveling the world. Well into his 50s he came back to his home town, Berlin, and straight into the ruin that has now become a studio. Bruno’s own workshop is now downstairs, on the ground floor of our building, next to a co-Working space and other workshops.Bruno’s masterpiece is the staircase he created from a tree trunk that we took out of the woods near Berlin Köpenick. The staircase leads to a loft we built opposite the cyc to make better use to our 19ft high ceiling. The wooden railing is about 16 inches wide so it can fit a camera slider for top shots. The wooden doors are over 100 years old and removing the old paint and repainting took about 3 days for each door. Every detail in the studio is hand-made and we have stories to tell about almost every detail. We even salvaged doors from a building that was the motor pool for the Stasi which had been in our neighborhood before reunification.
After months and months of working – while still working as photographers and in the film industry in order to finance the construction and our dream – we saw it become a reality.
LUX & ASA has been open for nearly 3 years and we are still working to make the studio better – continuous improvement. We started with the idea of creating a space we ourselves would like to work as photographers. At the same time having worked in the media industry for years,we both wanted to create a space that would help our clients in their own creative endeavors and to fully realize their vision for their projects.”
Read other inspiring interviews here.