Bikini Berlin – Concept Shopping Mall for Individualists
Berlin is always worth the trip. Duh. Nowhere else in Germany is there as much to see and discover as in the Spreemetropole. But what if you only have a short weekend or even just a few hours to get a good picture of the city? For a while now, there’s been an answer to this question: Bikini Berlin. It is here that history, individuality, and comfort accumulate into one large project. The ensemble on Bahnhof Zoo grew out of two 1950’s skyscrapers, the cinema Zoo Palast and the “Bikinihaus”, and has become an icon of the reconstruction and a symbol of the West City townscape.
Fifty years and several extensive restructuring jobs later, the lower three floors of the "Bikinihaus" is home to a concept shopping centre with retail stores and restaurants, including fourteen varying pop-ups in the so-called “boxes” on the ground floor. The self-proclaimed “consistent divergence from traditional shopping centres” is a venue for carefully curated and coordinated shops and local gastronomy. Instead of large chain branches, they strive to provide much more extraordinary concepts than mainstream malls.
A stay at this remarkable place can include nearly every component of a trip to Berlin in one way or another: for example, you can visit the acclaimed photo gallery C/O and the inn “Amerika Haus” breathes history just like the Bikini Berlin plot left from the 50’s. Watch a film in the evening at Zoo Palast, where all number of film industry gems have come and gone since the beginning of the international film fest Berlinale. Stay the night in the hotel 25hours and save yourself a city bus tour thanks to the brilliant view of all the classic landmarks.
Have a quick glance at the vis-a-vis memorial church in the morning and finally give in to all your shopping whims at the Bikini Berlin concept shopping centre: individual and compact like nowhere else in the city. I myself always start at the “boxes” on the ground floor, where small Berlin manufacturers, labels, and exceptional boutiques present a range of their products in regular rotation.
At the moment that includes the Danish premium liquorice brand LAKRIDS, the acclaimed jewellery designer Sabrina Dehoff, luxury chocolate boutique from Berlin manufactory Wohlfart, and the label Type Hype with its assortment of letterpresses. Brands such as Carhartt, Vans, and Closed can be found all around, as well as the wonderfully arranged Kusmi Tee store. In between rounds you can enjoy a vegan snack at Funk You or classics like ice cream and cake and coffee at any number of cafes.
On the first floor a colourful mix of temporary and permanent shops, including the brilliant concept store AM+ by Andreas Murkudis, who consistently proves his excellent hand at fashion and remarkable design. One typical Berlin concept ist also the store LNFA, presenting an enormous selection of ever-changing Berlin fashion designers who rent out shelves and racks here to showcase their collections.
One floor higher you’ll find the Gestalten Pavilion, which displays individual brands and designers with their extraordinarily beautiful lifestyle products along with their wonderful coffee table books. On the neighbouring 7,000 m2 roof terrace, from which visitors have a unique view of the Berlin Zoo, more fashion stores like Parosh or Premiata and the concept store SUPER await. As if the sheer variety on offer here wasn’t enough, special events are regularly added, keeping Bikini Berlin in constant flux. It makes the concept shopping centre the perfect place to take care of all your Christmas presents in just one evening.