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Last Updated: Friday, 17 June 2005, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
'Cool' make-over for Nazi shelter
The old air raid shelter on Albrechtstrasse (Pic: Ullsteinbild)
The imposing concrete shelter symbolises a disappearing Berlin
A vast Nazi-era air raid shelter too tough to tear down is to be revamped as an art gallery and luxury penthouse.

The seven-storey building in central Berlin was erected on Hitler's orders during Allied bombing of the city.

After the war, its 2.6m thick steel reinforced wall thwarted a series of East German attempts to demolish it.

Now advertising guru Christian Boros has bought the building, three years after attending a techno party in the disused venue.

"It was love at first," Mr Boros told Germany's Bild newspaper. "I went out and bought the bunker right away."

The shelter, designed in part by Adolf Hitler, was built in 1941 to protect up to 2,000 Berliners from increasingly heavy Allied bombing attacks.

After efforts to demolish the building failed, the East German authorities eventually began using the shelter as a storage warehouse.

Gentrifying Berlin

The issue of what to do with the shelter, on Berlin's central Albrechtstrasse, confounded Berlin's city planners after re-unification.

Planners pointed out that its central location makes the shelter a prime area for a high-profile development.

Berlin officials says the shelter - despite its size, age, and general disrepair - is a listed building because of its historical importance to the city.

In the late 1990s, it morphed into a temporary art gallery and venue for techno parties that sprung up around the city's famous Love Parade.

Mr Boros' told Bild his new development would be "like James Bond, very cool, with exposed concrete and glass".

The planned redevelopment comes months after the city's oldest techno club, Tresor, closed down when its venue, a former East German bank vault, was sold for development.

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10 May 05 |  Europe
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09 Nov 04 |  Europe
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12 Jul 02 |  Entertainment

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