One time proprietor of London’s Selfridges Harry Gordon Selfridge once remarked, “Get the confidence of the public and you will have no difficulty in getting their patronage.”
So it could be argued that doing things differently can earn such belief in a brand, and perhaps there’s no clearer vision of this than that of ‘concept shopping mall’ Bikini Berlin, by Munich based developers Bayerische Hausbau.
Opened in 2014, the wildly successful Bikini Berlin features a curated compilation of coordinated boutiques, concept and flagship stores. It boasts an impressive roster of local and international retailers, including Anna Kraft, Gant, and Teufel Raumfeld, among others. Added to this is some of Berlin’s most forward thinking bars and restaurants, as well as an achingly hip 25 Hours hotel. The mall also offers a regular events and a cultural programme that includes product launches, brand collaborations and of course pop-ups. The name of the building itself comes from the name ‘Bikinihaus’, which is how local Berliners affectionately christened the building in the 1950s.
The early days of the Spring season saw one of Bikini Berlin’s grandest affairs launched just this month, as they commissioned a vertical floral installation of 30,000 flowers. Curated and installed by East London-based floral sculptor Rebecca Louise Law, whose work includes; ‘The Flower Garden Display’d’, at The Garden Museum in London as well as ‘The Grecian Garden’ at the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens to name just two. For this installation the flowers, a melange of hydrangeas, peonies, and other vibrant spring florals have been provided by tollwasblumenmachen.de, who have partnered with the mall.
Law’s artwork is concentrated in natural materials, namely flora. The physicality and sensuality of her site specific work plays with the relationship between man and nature. Law’s installations dry on-site and become permanent sculptures themselves. This is due to careful manipulation of the flowers during the installation process, paired with a host of natural preservation techniques central to the installation process itself. Her work also includes; ‘Flowers 2015: Outside In’ at Times Square, New York and Law’s work has been exhibited at sites such as the Royal Academy and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Bikini Berlin is hosting the large-scale site-specific floral sculpture until May 1st 2016, launching Berlin into the spring season. The installation is suspended in the vaulted atrium of the restored main Bikini Berlin building. The light-filled space opens on one end to the Berlin Zoo monkey enclosure, and on the other, bustling Budapesterstrasse.
Take note Mr Selfridge, you have been heard.
Image courtesy of Bikini Berlin