Since their creative partnership began in 1995, contemporary artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset have based their collaborations on breaking down the barriers between public and private spaces. “The conventional notion of what’s considered public and private is a social construct that we’ve inherited from past generations and needs to be constantly reevaluated,” Michael says. When they saw an advertisement for a water pumping station in Berlin’s Neukölln neighborhood 10 years ago, they adopted this concept while developing their own uniquely structured space. For years, the building sat unclaimed on an unassuming residential street adjacent to a small overgrown meadow covering the former reservoir behind it. It had remained empty because no one could imagine how to appropriate such a large space in a non-industrial location—that is, until Michael and Ingar found it. “We were looking for a place that could meet many different needs, such as workshops, office space, archival space, living space and social space,” Michael says. After purchasing the sprawling warehouse-like structure, they renovated and divided the building into a number of different zones to be used for domestic life, work and socializing. “On a typical day here, there can be up to a dozen people working on different projects and eating lunch together in the kitchen,” Ingar says. “We also have a number of guest rooms and some more domestic-looking areas where we have meetings. Flexibility is key.” Although the former couple both lived here for many years, Michael currently splits his time between London and Berlin, and the space now operates primarily as the main studio for their artistic practice under the name Elmgreen & Dragset. Their staff works from various areas in the building and seasonally shifts between the open main floor in the summer and a smaller winter office to keep warm, as a building this large is notoriously difficult to heat. Features such as the main hall’s 42-foot (13-meter) ceiling are used to create full-scale mock-ups for installation pieces, and the front doors swing open so crated artwork can be moved into and out of the studio. Michael and Ingar have filled the rooms with a lot of their furniture from past shows and art projects. These items serve as a constant reminder of the evolution of both their space and their artistic practice. “When we use furniture in our exhibitions, it’s chosen to convey a certain emotion. When it leaves the context of the exhibition space and is used in our home, the functionality usually remains, but the meaning slightly shifts,” Ingar says. “After all, there’s a good portion of ourselves in any of the characters we invent for our projects.” This story appeared in The Kinfolk Home in 2015. "We were looking for a place that could meet many different needs." TwitterFacebookPinterest "We were looking for a place that could meet many different needs." Michael and Ingar’s warehouse space covers nearly 11,000 square feet (1,000 square meters). These bookshelves contain their entire press archive over the past two decades, which includes magazines and publications dating from the mid-’90s to the present. Related Stories Interiors Issue 19 Prankster’s Paradise Is the nine-to-five grind approaching monotony? Arrive at the office early to even the playing field and invoke mirth for your co-workers. Interiors Issue 18 A View from the Porch The shapes and sizes of our homes are changing, and society along with it. Avi Friedman has come to make sense of the new era of household realities. Interiors Issue 16 My Bedside Table: The Fashion Designer Starr Hout, who cofounded fashion brand Apiece Apart with her friend Laura Cramer, talks about her evening rituals and a kid-friendly bedroom. Design Interiors Issue 15 The Community Entrepreneurs: The Food Enthusiasts Food can be used to enrich, strengthen and connect people of all societies and cultures: All you need is a passion for tasty morsels and tradition. Interiors Issue 14 My Bedside Table: The Editor The editor in chief of Milk Decoration magazine in Paris discusses what she likes to have at hand while slumbering. Interiors Issue 14 Home Tour: The Evergreen Cottage For this home tour, we look inside a festive house in a cobblestoned corner of Copenhagen.