Built in the fifties by the architects, Paul Schwebes and Hans Schoszberger, the structure called Bikinihaus formed the architectural expression of a new attitude towards life marked by dynamism, freedom, lifestyle and consumerism. Like a string of pearls is how the individual buildings were to be arranged on the property. An ensemble of buildings whose aim it was to create a space for people in which, as a visible transition between nature and culture, a long and flat central structure with an open-sided 2nd floor was built. As a result, Berliners dubbed the building "Bikinihaus" – the Bikini House, which quite fittingly was also home to several women's wear businesses. The building went down in history as an icon of an era, of post-war architecture. This architecture, paired with the location, provides a solid identity, if not the foundation for the philosophy of BIKINI BERLIN's future: duality; living consciously and combining what exists with what is new; urbanity and nature, historical awareness and a vision of the future; the fusion of commercial and public space. A place filled with magic. A living space. A space to live in. Arne Quinze, artist and designer, created with his architectural office SAQ a contemporary and spectacular yet sensitive design which is being implemented since 2010.
The central element for this will be the striking roofscape which almost reaches the proportions of a football field:
It is here that the city opens up, connecting with Berlin's 'green lung'. This public extension offers a sensational view of the Tiergarten, giving direct access to the restaurants as well as the shopping attractions and services of BIKINI BERLIN, thereby making it a genuine highlight for the quality of life in City West.
The former open-sided storey will be carved out and returned to its original appearance. It will be encased in glass all-around to restore its previous transparency. The liberated pillars in front of the glass mirror the idea of opening up. Concrete building blocks for the interior and exterior flooring, the inner façade as an open design, or limited by glass. The sustainable and extremely sensitive conversion of the building goes beyond its own demands, even living up to those of future generations: in March 2011, it was already awarded the LEED Gold pre-certificate (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
BIKINI BERLIN, once completed, will become an urban market square. Visitors will become a part of the agenda; interesting people talk to interesting people, making the BIKINI BERLIN living space a space to live in.