ZALANDO FASHION HUB BERLIN 2016

Zalando’s so-called “Fashion Hub” for online mail-order merchandise is located in the heritage-listed former industrial premises of Knorr Bremse AG in the Berlin district of Friedrichshain. Employees here work in the fields of fashion and shopping development for Zalando’s own brands. Bruzkus Batek architects have redesigned a 650m2 space into an auditorium and showroom for events and presentations, with the atmosphere of an art gallery. For events, a tribune of OSB panels is complemented with flexible seating in the middle of the room. On the opposite wall is a stage with podium against a backdrop of white-painted OSB panels. Zalando use a series of detached cubes arranged around the auditorium for presentation of their own brands. Like art-work in a gallery, each cube is covered with a different material - aluminium, copper, ceramic tiles, or translucent double-ribbed sheets. In this way, an individual space is created for each clothing line. The precision and materiality of the cubes contrasts to the somewhat harsh industrial atmosphere of the surrounding space, where services are revealed and the sub-construction is left visible. When not needed for events, the catwalk-like stage and the grandstand are used as a complementary presentation area. A large storage room is located behind the stage. Display-cases were added below the windows to the bustling New Bahnhofstrasse. These cases, each of which presents a unique world of fashion, are closed-off from the larger room and accessed through a door. With their shape and colour they form a unique design feature in the room. Severe, bright neon lighting underlines the gallery character of the spaces, while, occasionally, exhibits and surfaces are accentuated by a softer, warmer light. Team: Ester Bruzkus, Patrick Batek, Holger Duwe