Designed in 1902 by the prolific architect Ludwig Hoffmann, the building underwent a full century of changes and reconstructions before being shut down in the early 2000s and reopened as an underground exhibition space and event venue in 2009. Today, the two empty pools are used as stages for screenings and performances, the changing rooms and showers for art installations and shows, and the basement for secret parties. Even skateboarding competitions are held here.
What’s impressive about this isn’t just that this unusual and historic space should be given over to art, but the type it’s dedicated to. Since its reopening, the Stattbad has hosted such diverse events as urban art festivals, concerts mixing classical with electronic music, short film screenings, performances, creative workshops, experimental fashion shows and techno parties—with all events embedded naturally into the architecture and facilities of the public bath, bringing the old forgotten building back to life. One can only wonder what architect Hoffmann would say if he could see a bouncy ball championship taking place in his empty pool.