Berlin’s legacy of modernist architecture is celebrated inside Balenciaga’s first store in the city.
The Grade II-listed exterior of the fashion label’s new retail location belies its brutalist ground floor interiors, which are all slabs of concrete and strip lighting. The design is part of Balenciaga’s ‘Raw Architecture’ concept which, according to the fashion house, mixes elements from construction sites and abandoned spaces with more refined features.
This is evident in the Berlin flagship – located in the Haus Cumberland on Kurfürstendamm – which contrasts its abundance of concrete and steel poles with soft grey drapes and leather-covered benches. The pre-existing interior of the retail space has been stripped to expose the underlying structure of the building, and in some parts of the store, glass flooring reveals the rubble beneath.
Recessed lighting puts the emphasis on aluminium shelves of products, and glass-topped display cabinets, while digital screens show imagery from Balenciaga shows and campaigns.