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Volkerode: East Berlin UrbEx


My good friend Bob Lussier had introduced me to a good photog friend, Jacques Gude ahead of a trip I was taking this summer to Germany.  I was going to Dusseldorf for 3 days, told Bob, and he said, ‘man, too bad you can’t get to Berlin to meet a great friend of mine, Jacques, who happens to be an amazing UrbEx photographer’.  So, being the sales & biz dev guy that I am, I emailed Jacques to say hi, introduce myself, and the next thing you know I am in Berlin for 3 days shooting some of THE best post cold-war UrbEx you could ever dream of.  I mean, completely insane.  Jacques arranged for a day, and I mean a complete day shooting in the former Soviet controlled East Germany at two of the most sought after spots to shoot; Volkerode and the Beelitz Sanatarium (more on this in a future post).  An UrbEx dream.  Nirvana really.

I had the privilege to be immediately accepted into the Berlin UrbEx scene meeting Luis dos Santos, Steve Coppenbarger, of course Jacques, and their friend Alez (3passa on Flickr).  Thank you Bob.  And thank you Jacques, Luis, Steve and Alez for welcoming me into your circle.

This image is a 9 stop HDR image of a row of supporting columns of the Volkerode power plant.  There are some 50 columns supporting the structure that runs the length of 3 or 4 football fields.  Inside is a literal treasure trove of abandoned Soviet Cold War dominance in easter Europe.  I will have several more Volkerode images to post in the coming weeks.  For another look at the subterranean ‘belly of this beast’, you will also enjoy images from my friend Jacques’ “Marquis de Sade“.  He also has a post today that shows another area of the compound.


Let me know what you think….

9 Responses to “Volkerode: East Berlin UrbEx”

  1. Definitely one of the biggest halls i’ve ever seen, this place is a real industrial cathedral, and this image really gives a feeling of how big it is. It was great shooting there together with you and Jacques, Alex and Steve, and I’m looking forward for a next opportunity to shoot together again!

  2. Griffin Robins says:

    dad this is a great shot i really like how it looks like Platform 9 3/4 in Harry Potter!!

  3. Jacques says:

    That was, indeed, an epic URBEX! Really great crew and lots of great things to see and photograph. Was amazing getting to know you, Chris, and I look forward to seeing you in New York one day soon!

  4. Alex says:

    Hi Chris,

    I just opened the folder with my Vockerode pics again, because it was too much to process in one go back then, having a second look now and enjoying the views and the memories all over again, while heating up photomatix.
    Was great meeting you, a great crew and a really grand day out.
    I love the crispness and the detail of this shot, and the fact that you convey a sense of the sheer size of the place by showing only a very small part.
    Just one word: MASSIVE!
    Looking forward to many more shots from you…
    Cheers from Berlin!

  5. Chris
    I love the juxtaposition of this with your prior image of the cathedral. Although very different, there are similar architectural elements in common that make it fascinating to do a compare and contrast.

  6. Phenomenal! Great framing here with the intersecting lines. The textures are sick too!

  7. Tobias says:

    Hey.. Really nice shot.. I just moved to Berlin, and would love some hints about the place.. cant find anything about it, when i google volkerode.. Need to shoot photos, and record some sound in there.. kick ass blog !

    – Tobias

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