David Bowie’s apartment

Det­mar Owen via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons, CC-BY 3.0

David Bowie’s apart­ment was locat­ed in the bor­ough of Schöneberg, specif­i­cal­ly on the first floor (or sec­ond floor in Amer­i­can Eng­lish) at Haupt­straße 155, 10827 Berlin. While the apart­ment is now leased as a pri­vate res­i­dence, the build­ing remains a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for fans eager to see where Bowie once lived. In 2016, the city installed a memo­r­i­al plaque next the entrance.

Bowie, accom­pa­nied by Iggy Pop, relo­cat­ed to this apart­ment after their ini­tial stay at the Hotel Ger­hus in Berlin. The apart­ment, which was locat­ed above an auto-parts store at the time, was secured for them by Corinne “Coco” Schwab, Bowie’s trust­ed assis­tant and friend, who also shared the liv­ing space with them.

Coco – the devot­ed, unsung hero­ine of Bowie’s career – had its walls paint­ed white as a pri­vate gallery for his dark images. She ordered in blank can­vas­es and tubes of oil paint. She read Niet­zsche beside him, beneath the flu­o­res­cent por­trait he paint­ed of Japan­ese author Yukio Mishi­ma. […]

We spent many evenings togeth­er in Bowie’s Haupt­straße apart­ment. He would play records and demo tapes for us and oth­ers, explain­ing how musi­cians and groups come togeth­er then break up in the pur­suit of cre­ative goals, liken­ing the process to the Die Brücke expres­sion­ists; the Bea­t­les and John Lennon; Roxy Music and Bri­an Eno; Der Blaue Reit­er group and Kandin­sky.

Rory McLean, 2016

Iggy even­tu­al­ly moved into his own apart­ment in the back court­yard of Haupt­straße 155.

Our dai­ly rou­tines were quite oppo­site. And Iggy would always devour any­thing he could find in the fridge, which real­ly got on my nerves. I was the one who did the gro­cery shop­ping, and he’d eat every­thing up. Some­times, I’d treat myself to some real­ly tasty stuff, like when I went to KaDeWe’s gourmet floor, but a few hours lat­er, it was all gone again. It drove me nuts. So, he moved out and got an apart­ment in the same build­ing, direct­ly across from mine.

David Bowie, Tagesspiegel, 2002

This area, back then, was con­sid­ered one of the less afflu­ent neigh­bor­hoods in West Berlin. Their liv­ing con­di­tions were notably sim­ple and min­i­mal­is­tic, align­ing per­fect­ly with Bowie’s new­found desire for a low-key and anony­mous lifestyle, as well as his cur­rent finan­cial sit­u­a­tion.

He was attract­ed to the ambi­ence of “a city cut off from its world, art and cul­ture, dying with no hope of ret­ri­bu­tion” […], and he chose to live in a sec­tion of the city as bleak, anony­mous, and cul­tur­al­ly lost as pos­si­ble: Schöneberg, pop­u­lat­ed large­ly by Turk­ish immi­grants. He took an apart­ment above an auto parts store and ate at the local workingmen’s café. Talk about alien­ation.

– Angela Bowie, Back­stage Pass­es, 1993

More­over, the apart­ment offered the ben­e­fit of posi­tion­ing Bowie with­in a con­ve­nient prox­im­i­ty to Hansa Stu­dios, a place he fre­quent­ly reached by ped­al­ing on his trusty Raleigh, a time­less British three-speed bicy­cle.

External links