If you have not noticed the original looking Tankstelle and seen the FIT sign in Berlin, then keep your eyes peeled.
The red and white signs stand out like a sore thumb with a very cool design and contrasting red and white colours. The name is also quite catchy too. My friend and I first noticed it as we found it amusing how British people say people are ‘Fit’ when referring to someone being good-looking. But it actually stands for ‘Freie Internationale Tankstelle’ as it is a German Homegrown concept.
The concept is a genius and ironic take on today’s capitalist culture as it is to take an abandoned gas station and transform it into a ‘filling station for the soul’. As places of fossil fuel are exchanged for places of creativity which symbolises a move away from the old way of non creative conservative capitalism to a new way of community and creativity which would be far more sustainable and helpful to the planet on a whole.
This kind of project I feel is so Berlin. A really obscure and interesting place of arts like this is hard to find in some other cities, but in Berlin it is just another cool addition to the amazing city.
Founded in 2002, an artist, Dida Zende had a vision that anyone could use the name FIT, find and old, abandoned Gas station and create an open arts community. In 10 years that vision has become a reality with old abandoned gas stations popping up all over the world and becoming the arts spaces called FIT.
There are now filling stations all around the world in Copenhagen with a new one soon in Vancouver , with 4 in Germany and the one right here in Berlin situated in Schwedterstrasse.
The following is their mission statement taken from their website which explains what they are about:-
‘The mission of FIT is to reclaim the abandoned architecture of filling stations and to rebrand their original function as sources of fossil fuel. It is a vision of transformation. Where the stations of exhausted natural resources, are transformed by the imagination of those who gather, in the spirit of collaboration, to produce a new fuel for humanity. To tap into an inexhaustable resource; the life force of human creativity.’
If you know of any abandoned gas stations that you think would be able to to be developed into a FIT station or you just want to check out their site in general
Recently the Low Bros did a massive piece on the wall there as part of the Pictoplasma exhibition which can be seen here – we snapped some pics of it recently.
They hold quite a few events on at the FIT station in Berlin, such as BBQs on the warmer days. They sell organic foods, cous-cous etc from their food van, have a bar and will soon start a trash & treasure flea market on Sundays.
Also, if you would like to see what other events are going on at FIT, check out their facebook page:-
Finally, if you would like to donate to this awesome initiative you can do so here :-