Potsdamer Str. 91, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Photographs by Thomas Meyer
Christian Wijnants Berlin, first flagship store outside of Belgium designed by Gonzalez Haase AAS.
The design concept for the Christian Wijnants store on the Potsdamer Strasse in Berlin works with the existing space and its structure. Two split level spaces are connected through stairs, they share a common ceiling height. It is only the floor level that changes. In order to homogenise this feature, AAS designed an overarching lighting system that both connects and opens up the space.
The diagonal light across the store is inspired by the graphical fabric prints from Christian Wijnants clothing creations. This graphical strong new light level blinds out the existing building structure and sequences of rooms and transforms it into one space.To delineate the space the diagonal light strips rotate 90 degrees between the lower and upper space. While an entire diagonal space division thru a curtain on the upper level continues in the same angle like the front light creating a continuous spatial concept.
The diagonal light lines alternate between warm and cold depending on the area they are in. The more cold and crisp lights are over the clothing and product displays that highlight the elements in the front space, while the warmer light is found in changing rooms, salon and circulation areas on the upper more private area.
Infra-structurally AAS has decided to use an unseen strange material combination of silver and brass. The use of these combination makes up the composition of the store. The space; silver curtains, silver insulation wall claddings, silver mirrors, raw aluminium lighting profiles and plinths combined with a brass cladded counter, brass manufactured hanging bars and a brass golden net curtain gives a sense of the bizarre fantastic. The brass hanging system is curved by hand and its uneven shape, reminiscent of a tree branch, giving a human scale and a poetic approach.
Up the stairs on the direct entrance axis one finds a small room between the front and the back, which is a monochrome Gio Ponti green coloured transitional space. Completely tinted, from carpet, to wall, to ceiling. The more private space further to this leads the customer to an unexpected more private salon – a spacious, warm and elegant pre-room area in front of the two dressing rooms. The green coloured carpet continues here on the wall at a height of 50cm – fusing the floor with the walls as an infinity cove. This detail in combination with the silver wall cladding continues all around the upper space, creating light reflections and endless views thru fully mirrored walls.