Rolling out: tape art at Berlin Decks

The new Berlin Decks lettering on the facade of the main hall can’t be missed. But what is not immediately obvious is that the lettering and background are not painted or sprayed, but made from adhesive tape – 50 rolls in all. The giant logo was applied by Berlin artist collective Tape Over, whose designs can be seen at festivals worldwide.

Founders Robert König and Lamia Michna discovered tape art ten years ago and started the group in 2011 under their artist names ROB and LaMia. "Lamia got to know this art form, which didn't really exist at the time, by chance during her studies and began to experiment with the material," recalls König. "We are fascinated by the fact that tape is usually seen as a purely functional object. Nobody connects this material with art and people are always surprised when they see what we create with it."

The facade design at Berlin Decks isn’t the first large-scale project Tape Over has done. Three years ago, the crew set a world record for the largest portable tape artwork at Berlin’s exhibition centre and have produced tape art for the likes of the Berlin Philharmonic and brands Nike and Hermes. What made the Spree-side project different was its scale, covering an area of 200 square meters and reaching a height of 15 meters. "The challenge was the typography itself, since the letters are around three meters tall. Working directly in front of the wall requires a lot of experience and a very good feeling for proportions." In total, four members of the group worked on the project: Michael Weingart (Mischka), Kerim Yilmaz (MIC), Claas Selck (hi#claas) as well as König. Before they could get down to creating the actual motif with the help of a cherry picker, the surface had to be cleaned, primed and the outlines marked. "The best thing about the project was the view," says König with a laugh. "We have a soft spot for industrial buildings. So we really liked the Berlin Decks location."

The Neukölln-based team liked the site’s location on the banks of the Spree canal, not far from Westhafen. "We felt inspired and would have loved to work on more of the walls." What would be König’s dream canvas for his tape art? "Preferably a building that stands out for its architecture or historical significance - like the opera house in Sydney."