BIKINI BERLIN is the new concept for a listed building complex next to Berlin Zoo: an oasis in the heart of the city, an urban hub and social universe that is playing a key role in the transformation and success of the City West.
The heritage-listed BIKINI BERLIN complex includes the Bikinihaus (Bikini Building) opposite the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the large high-rise at Hardenbergplatz, the Zoo Palast cinema, the small high-rise with the 25hours Hotel and the car park at the Aquarium.
The ‘Zentrum am Zoo’ (Centre at the Zoo) ensemble, which was completed in 1957 by Paul Schwebes and Hans Schoszberger, is a symbol of the City West’s cityscape and one of the few still preserved contemporary eyewitnesses to the eventful history of post-war Berlin.
By the end of the 1960s, more than 60 fashion companies had moved into the complex, producing and selling textiles and clothing. Once the Berlin Wall was erected, the ensemble of buildings fell into a sleeping beauty slumber, from which it was brought back to life in spring 2014 by the Munich-based Bayerische Hausbau following a respectful revitalisation. BIKINI BERLIN was born: a unique combination of shopping, gastronomy, workspaces, cinema, leisure, recreation and hotel – an urban, green oasis.
The centrepiece of the building complex is the legendary Bikinihaus (Bikini Building) with a total length of 200 metres. This was also the namesake of BIKINI BERLIN: local Berliners affectionately christened the building ‘Bikinihaus’ back in the 1950s. An open-sided storey framed by columns once divided the building into one upper and one lower area. The two-tier architecture, which is meanwhile fully glazed, reminded them of the daring new swimwear fashion of the time – the bikini.
BIKINI BERLIN is redefining the idea of a concept shopping mall, making it the pioneer of a new, slower shopping experience that’s all about indulgence and wellbeing. Consistently differentiating itself from regular shopping centres, the concept shopping mall sees itself as a compilation of carefully curated and coordinated boutiques and eateries that invites visitors to enjoy slow, mindful shopping in a world that is spinning faster and faster on its axis. Modular pop-up boxes are also an integral part of the concept shopping mall. Like a typical Berlin pop-up store, they can be rented on a temporary basis. This gives well-known brands the opportunity to launch new products and also makes it easier for aspiring young designers to present their creations to the public for the first time.
The highlight of the Bikinihaus building is the 7,000 m², freely accessible rooftop terrace, the BIKINI BERLIN Shopping Garden, which is inspired by New York’s Highline Park and offers spectacular views into the neighbouring zoo. Exclusive office spaces can be found on the third to sixth floors.