Bikini Concept Mall, Berlin
Bikini Berlin Budapester Str. 44 10787 Berlin
Hild Und K Architekten, Munich
On our recent research trip to Berlin, we were struck by how much the city has changed over the past decade. Post unification, the massive investment and sense of energy and optimism has turned Berlin into one of the coolest, most interesting and dynamic cities in the world. It certainly ranks as one of our favourite cities for retail innovation.
The highlight of our trip was (repeated) visits to the new Bikini Berlin, a concept mall which is a symbol of how the shopping mall is reinventing itself for the 21st Century.
One of the most iconic pieces of post war reconstruction in West Berlin, the historical Zoobogen building complex was designed by architects Paul Schwebes and Hans Schoszberger, and constructed between 1955 and 1957. It was affectionately nicknamed Bikini by Berlin locals as its two part structure reminded people of the newly invented bikini.
Now the Bikini complex has been lovingly restored and architecturally tweaked, turning it into a mixed use destination, made up of cinema, shopping mall and the achingly trendy 25 Hours Hotel.
Lovingly restored between 2010 and 2013, the complex overlooks the Berlin Zoo, with great views over the animal enclosures from the roof terrace and the panoramic windows in the Bikini Pool.
Bikinihaus is the main mall building. It stretches 7,000 sqm over three levels, including the roof terrace.
The space houses a mix of flagships and concept stores, with a real focus on local brands and designers.
Every store is interesting and unique, from the gorgeous Gestalten and Supermarket Flagships, to fantastic boutiques from trendy Berlin optical brand Mykita, Jacks Beauty and an ultra cool Adidas customisation studio.
Even mainstream brands such as Vans and Gant have designed something special.
Food and dining is at the heart of the concept, with restaurants and cafes at every entrance.
The 25 Hours Hotel with its skyscraper bar and restaurants give Bikini Berlin further justification as the place to be in Berlin.
This reflects the increasing trend of malls using food as a driver of footfall. Bikini Berlin is actively promoted by Munich developers Bayerische Hausbau, as a lifestyle destination with a difference; where you work, play, eat and shop.
Our favourite part is Bikini Pool, a 3,300 sqm space which sits at the heart of the building. This has nineteen ‘boxes’, designed as small, ‘permanent pop up shops’ for emerging brands and start up businesses.
This ‘Made in Berlin’ flavour is what stops Bikini Berlin being just another mall, and gives it a genuine reason to visit.
We’ll be back!
If you’d like to know more about Bikini Berlin and all its stores, we have a full case study in Need to Know More.