Berlin's secret doors
By day, these doors are like any other in Berlin. But by night, they transform into the entrances to some of Berlin's most famous clubs. People from around the globe flock to Berlin to line up in front of these doors.
By day, these are just doors covered in graffiti. But by night, they transform into entrances to some of Berlin's most famous techno clubs, such as "About Blank" (above) with a huge outdoor garden. "What fascinates me most about doors like this is that only a couple centimeters of steel separate you from something mystical and otherworldly on the other side," said photographer Juska Wendland.
Many associate this door with failure; after all it's known as the hardest door in Berlin to get past. Bouncer Sven Marquardt, covered in tattoos and piercings, only admits about half the people waiting in the hours-long line outside the infamous Berghain club. Located in a former power plant, Berghain has been voted the best club in the world several times, for instance by "DJ Mag."
This door is right around the corner from Berghain. It leads to a smaller club called Lab. Oratory. While Berghain is known for its darkrooms and the hedonism, Lab. Oratory takes it to the next level. It's a fetish club offering all sorts of sex parties, with naked romps and urine parties some of the more tame options on the menu. What happens behind this door is not for the faint-hearted.
Hidden behind this door is a club that’s built underneath the subway tracks. Golden Gate is Berlin's legendary after-hours club. A party here doesn’t really start before 6 a.m., when Berlin’s night owls emerge to enjoy techno beats by local DJs while early-risers ride the subway right above their heads. Golden Gate might be Berlin's grittiest club - and maybe its most authentic one.
What started in 2004 as a hippie utopia by the name of "Bar 25" quickly became a tourist magnet. After six years of legendary parties, the outdoor techno club had to clear its premises and vacate the area by the Spree River for a property investment project. But the founders simply moved across the river and opened a fancier version in 2010, which they called "Kater Holzig."
This might not look like the entrance to a club, but it is. "Suicide Circus" is a techno club in Berlin's Friedrichshain district. It offers both an indoor and outdoor dance floor in summer. For photographer Juska Wendland, doors like the one pictured above are "a barrier between everyday life and a whole new set of rules, attitudes, and uncompromised forms of electronic music and art."
This seemingly unimpressive door is the entrance to one of Berlin’s oldest techno clubs. Twelve years ago "Watergate" was founded right by the Oberbaum Bridge, leading across the Spree River. Since then, the club has changed just as much as its surroundings and has developed from a tiny basement club to a tourist attraction with an endless line outside and a terrace overlooking the Spree.
Salon Zur Wilden Renate
No, this is not the entrance to a circus - at least not to a traditional one. This door leads to a club called "Salon zur Wilden Renate," located in an unrenovated apartment building. The three main dance floors look like living rooms, giving the atmosphere of a theatrical house party. In the rear house you can find a creative four-story maze that makes you feel like you're Alice in Wonderland.
If it weren't for the two burly doormen in front of this door, you would never know that it leads to a booming techno club. "Loftus Hall" is a fairly new addition to Berlin’s nightlife. The club is hidden along an otherwise barren strip of the Maybachufer, a street along the Landwehr Canal. The name of the club was inspired by a supposedly haunted mansion in Ireland.