If Berlin is famous for its urban decay, then the Zuhause In Der Eisfabrik (or Home In The Ice Factory) series by Berlin-based photographer Marc Brinkmeier exposes some of the complexity within that.

It’s true that his poignant images depict the derelict ruins of a former ice factory in the heart of the city, sitting directly on the river Spree. But it’s his portraits of the Bulgarian refugees who have made such a place their home that are the most revealing. With no heating, no toilets, no electricity or running water, they exist alongside luxury apartments and quickly-rising real estate. Yet every single person portrayed exudes relatable normalcy, pride, some kind of joy and dignity.Quietly political, Brinkmeier’s photos catch a city in flux through a group of marginalized people. With a certain power over their image, the photographer renders them utterly human — instead of an ‘other’ to be feared or dismissed, they appear not unlike much of Berlin’s underground community of artists, ravers and freaks. Fittingly, the Eisfabrik also had a second life as a club before it fell into its current disrepair. And as harsh an environment such a place can be, we can see via his eye that their community has lent it the character of any home — a place to ease their human spirit.