Wall in Berlin becomes work of art in world's largest mural

French design company covers 20,000 square metres of Berlin apartment buildings with trees, animals and people in bid for new Guinness World Record

Adam Withnall
Monday 09 September 2013 16:39 BST

Most tenants in a block of flats would find it more than a little galling if a graffiti artist set up scaffolding in order to reach higher up on their building.

But when those artists have been commissioned by a French design company, and the art includes majestic 11-storey-high trees complete with birds in flight and animals inspired by a local zoo, suddenly its OK to go around painting the outside of people’s houses.

That’s just what has happened to an enormous stretch of Berlin wall, where an ambitious and at times very life-like mural now blurs the boundaries between the Wohngenossenschaft Soldaritaet Coop apartments and their more natural surroundings.

With a canvas comprising 22,000 square metres of wall, artists from Lyon-based CitéCréation want the piece registered for the Largest Outdoor Mural award in the Guinness World Records.

CitéCréation describes itself as a “world leader in wall painting”, with more than 580 giant frescos in its portfolio since the company was set up in 1978.

It describes its style as trompe-l’oeil, or urban design, for the benefit of the “dreams, pleasure and pride of the general public”.

Employing around 80 artists on projects across the world, it was awarded the gong of “Living Heritage Company” by the French government in 2007.

Competing with CitéCréation’s latest work is the current record-holder, an American mural spanning a mere 16,554.8 square metres of wall.

The Pueblo Levee Project in Pueblo, Colorado, is 3.2km (2 miles) long and around 18m (58ft) tall.

According to the Guinness World Records website it was started in the 1970s, and contains back-to-back contributions from thousands of artists of all ages.

It is a different beast from the carefully-planned Berlin wall, and varies wildly from block to block, with anyone allowed to add their own bit for free – as long as they use recycled paint.

The Berlin Wohngenossenschaft Soldaritaet Coop apartment buildings
The Berlin Wohngenossenschaft Soldaritaet Coop apartment buildings (Getty Images)

Click here to see close-up images of the giant mural.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in