MUCA Art Bunker

Former air raid shelter in Munich becomes a cultural project

The history of the Bunker right next to the MUCA main building in Hotterstraße in Munich dates back to 1941. This is when the building application for the air raid shelter was submitted to the city of Munich. One year later, the bunker was built under the direction of the state building authority. When the city of Munich took over the bunker after the war, it was briefly used as a shelter for the homeless. Only a short time later, in 1946, it was rented out as a hotel.

In 1950, the lease of the "Bunkerhotel" was cancelled and the former owners, the St. Anna Ladies' Convent, demanded the return of the property. The convent then leased part of the site to the city, as additional land was needed for the planned expansion of Hotterstrasse. In 2009, the bunker was finally released from its intended use.

From the club to the MUCA art bunker

The unique building was left to its own devices for several years until 2012, when a completely new concept breathed new life into the angular building. A discotheque moved into the old building and "Herr Hotter" quickly became a popular address in Munich's nightlife sceneeven if only for a limited time. The club was closed again after around six months due to complaints from local residents and noise pollution. The bunker has been empty since 2013. The Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA) has been staging this characteristic building in new ways since 2019 and brought to life with modern installations and works of art.

Art bunker: the setting for
Hirst skulls, tape art and modern installations

From the end of October 2023 to the end of January 2024, the bunker became a cultural treasure trove of a very special kind. As part of the major Damien Hirst solo show at the MUCA, the artwork "For the Love of God (2007)" exhibited. The world-famous platinum cast of a human skull, set with 8,601 diamonds weighing a total of 1,106.18 carats, was staged in a glass showcase and unfolded a special charisma in the extraordinary architecture of the former air raid shelter.

Schädel Bunker von Prudence
Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2023.
MUCA Bunker Max Zorn

From October 2022, the MUCA presented for almost a year the Exhibition "City Lights" by the Dutch tape art artist Max Zorn in the MUCA bunker. Zorn uses a supposedly everyday object, parcel tape, to create independent visual worlds on light boxes, which unfolded their magical effect in the bunker.

Prior to this, the characteristic bunker building was renovated with modern installations, graffiti and elaborate murals in a joint exhibition of the artists L.E.T., ZEUS, STOHEAD, WANDAL, MINA MANIALADY AIKO, SWOON  and VHILS reinterpreted. This turned the bunker into a kind of historical overview of the development of street art, allowing visitors to explore the path of an urban and modern art form in Munich and around the world.

MUCA Kunstbunker Swoon