If you want to experience another kind of shopping experience, you need to visit the Bikini, an impressive and rather interesting shopping mall in Berlin. You will find it next to the Berlin Zoo and across the street from the Waldorf Astoria, and you simply won’t be able to miss it due to its architecture. The shopping center came to life after a building ensemble from 1957 started to be revitalized and given a brand new purpose. But shopping is not the only thing you can enjoy at Bikini. You have the chance to relax, grab something to eat, work, enjoy the cinema, get checked in at the hotel, and many more. It is also the place for various events and exhibitions, so it is a very cosmopolite corner of Berlin.
Bikini lays today where the old “Zentrum am Zoo” was, a place that was rather appreciated until the cold war and before the famous Berlin wall was erected. A grim period followed for Berlin West during this period, everything starting to change in a positive manner after Germany was reunited and the Berlin wall destroyed. The revitalization of the old part of Berlin West also meant to redesign and redevelop the Bikini Complex, this area of the city becoming, once more, a place that was socially attractive and represented a great commercial potential. After the war, Bikini became a much-preferred place by the stylish and sophisticated residents of Berlin, which showed that this area still has the chance of redeeming its former glory.
Among the amazing experience at Bikini is the one called Panoramic Zoo Window, where you can see the monkeys or the monkeys watch you doing shopping, depends of your point of view.
The Bikini Complex went under a total transformation and renovation between 2010 and 2013, which had as main purpose the revival of the complex and putting it once again in the attention of the public. The idea that stands behind the design of this complex is to provide more than just a place to shop. It was desired that Bikini could be suitable for a combination of purposes, like relaxing, working, and shopping, the final complex being equipped with a cinema and hotel, which only added more features to the combination. The architecture of the complex was a merger between the old and the new, as the facades were reconstructed to resemble the original ones that were built in the 50s, but respecting, of course, present day energy guidelines. The idea was not to destroy the old architecture of the Bikini, but to polish it and to make it more suitable for our modern days; this is why many elements of the old structure were kept, only made to look better and more presentable.
As mentioned before, shopping at the Bikini is a unique experience, because the shopping center is based on a unique concept. Besides the traditional shops you will find at the Bikini, you will also notice pop-up stores, which provide collections of designers that can’t be found anywhere else. Also, do note that about half of these pop-up stores don’t stay at the Bikini more than 6 months, being changed with new designers and new products for the public to enjoy. This way, once in a while, when visiting the Bikini, shoppers can always enjoy something new, something fresh. It is definitely a concept you won’t find in any other shopping center.
It is also a spot where fashion, design and art meet together as with this art installation of 5700 Origamy to make the city more colorful as the nature is by the french artist Mademoiselle Maurice.