„Everything here is vacant! There simply must be a good location for a club somewhere around here!“
It is January 1991 and two men are driving along Leipziger Straße by car on the lookout for a successor to Berlin’s acid-house club “UFO”. They simply get out at some point, cross the road and discover the old vault of the former Wertheim department store. More by chance than anything else, they meet the caretaker who provides the key to the place and together they proceed to the first encounter. The lock has the shape of two concentric circles with a horizontal bar underneath them. The logo of Tresor is born.
Three months later the club opens its doors and the first party is already packed. Young people from both parts of the city dance to extremely hard and industrial music in the midst of hundreds of old, walled deposit boxes and surrounded by dust, fog, mud and strobe light. In this space there are no restrictions: no east, no west. The type of rough, turbulent music being played was said to have been impossible in Berlin but the embryonic scene now had the perfect place for it.
This is how the story of one of the world’s best known clubs to date begins. Many German artists are intrinsically tied to the beginnings of Tresor: Sven Väth, Tanith, Maruscha, Paul van Dyk, Ellen Allien and Pacou are just a few of them. But it is especially the musical link to Detroit’s artists such as Mike Banks, Jeff Mills (the founders of Underground Resistance), Juan Atkins, Kenny Larkin and Blake Baxter who enduringly shape what has hitherto become known as the typical Tresor Sound. And did you know that Aphex Twin had his first live act ever at Tresor?! Many other international acts followed.
Rumours about a possible closure of the club repeatedly surfaced from the end of the 90′s and on. In 2005 the time had indeed come. The last party of Tresor in Leipziger Straße was held on April 16th after a fortnight-long party marathon to which all the old artists came one
last time to bow in reverence.
The mothership of Techno has landed.
Those who want to become real legends however, keep going. Two years later (2007), Dimitri Hegemann found a new location for the club in the old heating plant in Berlin Mitte. The opening was a big return for Tresor with many new challenges and this step was another milestone in its history. The Kraftwerk Berlin location is outstanding in its dimensions and atmosphere, and has some interesting similarities with Tresor’s history.
The heating plant was built in the early 1960s and became the most modern electricity producer for the center of East Berlin. From here you could switch the lights on and off at Alexanderplatz. The huge hall was filled with turbines and with a little imagination you still can hear the machines working today, such as on the balcony of the +4Bar when the sound systems of the dance floors merge their echoes inside the concrete cathedral into one new soundscape.
In 1991 shortly after the wall came down the heating plant was closed – exactly the same year when Tresor started its history at Leipziger Strasse. While the rise and fall of the old location was over in 2005, a sleeping beauty had rested for more than 15 years at a hidden spot in the heart of Berlin until one day Dimitri Hegemann found this unpolished diamond on his way home.
Since 2007 this location has continuously changed its look and improvements have resulted in an outstanding concrete labyrinth for lovers of electronic music in all its bevels.Tresor has been residing in Köpenicker Straße 70 since May 2007. Less than a third of the over 22000 square meters are used for the actual club. On three floors the guests can find experimental music in the +4 Bar, house music in Globus and „loud and dirty“ techno music in the vault: the heart of Tresor where one can find some of the historic, rusted deposit boxes that could be salvaged from the building in Leipziger Straße. Tresor is open with different floor variations five days every week: on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Inside the vault you can forget time and year. Something for your mind. Every week up to 3000 ravers from all over the world gather at Tresor to celebrate together.