It is located in a former power generation plant near the Ostbahnhof Train Station. The building is distinguished by its enormous dimensions -- including an 18 meter high dancefloor and space for 1500 guests -- as well as its minimalist interior design. The main design elements are steel and concrete. The first room at the entrance near the cloakroom displays a 20-30 square meter black & white painting of the artist Piotr Nathan. On the upper floor, the Panorama Bar contains a large-format painting by Wolfgang Tillmans.
Berghain is best-known for its decadent, bacchanalian, sexually uninhibited parties which often continue into the following afternoon. It is also infamous for the strict and choosy bouncers at the door who make quick work of the improperly dressed, the faint of heart, or the curious youth from the suburbs. Security is tight and cameras are strictly forbidden. This allows the homo-, hetero-, and bi-sexual guests to throw social restraints to the wind and live out their most pornographic fantasies.
Berghain is the reincarnation of the legendary Berlin techno club Ostgut, which was the first permanently established venue explicitly for gay fetish and sex parties. "Ostgut" itself grew out of the so-called "Snaxx" parties and developed into a focal point of the Berlin techno-subculture. Ostgut closed down on January 6, 2003 following a 30-hour farewell event, and the former railway warehouse which housed it was subsequently demolished.
The music is mostly techno and minimal techno. The Panorama Bar hosts well-known House and Electro-DJs.
The former Ostgut was originally a purely gay club. Although still primarily gay, Berghain is now a mixture of everything from actors, stranded tourists, college students, artists, and just about everything else of all sexual persuasions. The average age is 25 or older.