Report - Ice Factory, Berlin - May 2012

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28DL Regular User
Regular User
Apr 9, 2012
N4 massive
For the second half of my Berlin exploits (first half here: I decided to go explore the abandoned Ice Factory that sits next to the Spree, as it was quite central. The site itself is not too far from the East Side Gallery.

Some history courtesy of abandonedberlin:
The Eisfabrik on Köpenicker Straße had been churning out ice for the inhabitants of this morally-challenged city since 1896 but its chilling activities were halted 99 years later, and it’s been simply chilling since then.
One of the oldest in Germany, it began under the stewardship of Carl Bolle – known affectionately as “Bimmel-Bolle“ (Bell-Bolle) because of the little bells on his dairy trucks – who founded the Norddeutsche Eiswerke (North German Ice-works) in September 1872. He acquired Köpenicker Straße 40-41 in 1893 and began producing ice here three years later.
The Norddeutsche Eiswerke became Germany’s biggest natural ice producers, and Herr Bolle had a larger factory and residential housing built here in 1909/10. More works between 1913 and 1922 saw the building of the boiler house, engine room and three cooling houses, which were insulated with 15cm of cork between the walls.
A great big ice machine from Linde AG was installed in 1914 to make blocks of ice 1.5 metres long. In times without fridges, these were delivered all over Berlin to breweries, pubs, households, fishmongers etc.,apparently until the late 1970s at least.
After “The Emergency†(as we Irish like to trivialise the war) and subsequent partitioning of Germany (which should never to be trivialised), the factory continued in GDR times as the VEB Kühlbetrieb before being heartlessly abandoned by the Berliner Kühlhaus GmbH in 1995.
The Eisfabrik is now caught in the web of the huge Mediaspree project which wants to allow corporate greed corrupt Berlin’s riversides with apartments, office spaces and gold mines for investors. I guess this is how they can demolish a listed building...
I ended up doing this site solo, so I was a bit anxious on the way in, but just as I started to get set up two German guys said hello on their way out and it turned into a more relaxing explore.

On with the photos!



I managed to not get a decent shot of the whole building somehow. :(



This was the largest of the few pieces of machinery that have survived.


Some lovely steel stairs in the corner of the first room. Unfortunately the whole place has been pretty well trashed, with broken glass now the carpets for the once tiled floors and an assortment of graffiti for wallpaper.


There is a courtyard in the middle of the building, the contents of which showed a lot of signs of homeless activity.


There were two ceiling-crane machines like this on the ground floor.


The next floor up showed just how barren the rest of the building was now.



The next floor wasn't too interesting either, although interestingly the only door in the entire building that was sealed had a reminder of Berlin's past hanging in its window:

This left only the roof to see, which contained the other piece of machinery of note.


I contemplated climbing the mini-crane for a self-shot, but didn't want to risk anything too sketchy solo.



It was only when I was going through my shots that I noticed that the chimney had rungs. Probably wouldn't have climbed it anyway :eek::

That brought to an end to my trip to the ice factory, although on the way out I saw an appealing building over the road, and almost went in until I realised that quite a few people in the flats 20 meters away were watching :banghead

Any constructive criticism on my photos would be very welcome. Anything else too, I suppose ;)