In Berlin’s Hansa Studios U2 recorded large parts of 'Achtung Baby'. More precisely, they were recorded in Studio 2, also called 'The Big Hall by the Wall'. That studio can also be seen in the video for 'One' (Berlin-Version). The building was originally built as a club house for the construction trade guild in 1910-1913. During the Second World War the it was heavily damaged, and after temporary reconstruction was soon forgotten due to its peculiar location – in the Western part of the city, but directly at the Berlin Wall. In 1976 the Meisel-Musik-Verlage (Meisel Music Publishers) bought the house and fitted it with a recording studio, and the Meistersaal (‘main hall’) was turned into Studio 2. From then on some of music history’s greats have used the studio (including David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Depeche Mode), particularly for its allegedly very special sound. U2’s producer of many years, Flood (Mark Ellis) was originally the Hansa Studio’s sound engineer.
Apart from the studio, U2 also regularly frequented the pub 'Falstaff', located in the same building. Today it has been replaced by an Italian restaurant.
Only a short walk away you can moreover find Potsdamer Platz, a further location for Wim Wender’s 'Stay' video.
Studio 2 is now once again called Meistersaal, is located on the first floor, and can be hired for all kinds of events. During the day the hall is quite frequently open for the preparation or taking down of such an event, and provides a chance to glimpse a view of the old studio. Have a good look at the still original ceiling lights. On the second floor there are a number of recording studios that are still in use, and thus cannot be visited.
2005, right before U2 Vertigo-Tour conzert in the Berlin Olympiastadium, the team of U2Tour.de and 750 fans celebrate a huge fan-party in the Meistersaal! Bono greets them during the concert in Berlin..
In May 2009 U2 returned to Hansa Studios to film parts for the documentary 'From the sky down', released as part of the 2oth anniversary edition of Achtung Baby.
Köthener Str. 38, 10963 Berlin
Berlinkarte Nr. 1 | Nearest U- and S-Bahn station: Potsdamer Platz (U2, S1, S2, S25). From the station follow Stresemannstrasse, the Köthener Straße is the first street to your right. The studio is a further 50m down on the left.
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