One year after establishing a presence in New York’s fashionable SoHo district, Artek proves again that location is everything with its newest European showroom in Berlin. Located in an up-and-coming neighborhood that is sprouting trendy new galleries and boutiques, Artek Deutschland has settled into the penthouse at Potsdamer Strasse 85 C, one of the city’s architectural landmarks and the new Mondial Home headquarters.
The intent of the in-house design team at Artek was to maintain the character of the building while simultaneously crafting a locally inspired and unique identity for the European market. “We did not want to copy a concept that had been used from another major city’s office,” explains Mirkku Kullberg, CEO of Artek. “New York should look like New York, Tokyo should keep its local flavor, and—more than anything else—Berlin is a mix of all cultures. It is not just a German city, but a hot spot in Europe.” The team was careful to retain elements of strict German discipline and Bohemian creativity while honoring the building’s landmark status.
Working with 1,776 square feet of space across the building’s 10th and 11th floors, the design team created a flexible office that could be transformed into a showroom or open space for receptions and events. It was imperative to preserve the nearly 360 degree-views afforded from the penthouse vantage, which was one of the key reasons Artek chose to the space, according to Kullberg. Office storage systems double as space dividers and glass walls permit natural light delivery. Two open-air terraces capitalize on the city vistas.
A gray color palette coordinates with Artek’s latest launches and the Alvar Aalto classics like Stool 60 and Tea Trolley 900 that furnish the space. The new Tapiovaara Kiki series also affords an efficient, flexible furniture solution for meeting rooms and lobby space, and low profiles on the series’ Lounge Chair and Armchair 403 maintain the unobstructed views. Old Artek and Aalto books bought from secondhand bookstores in Helsinki reinforce the brand.
“With Aalto, it is always easy to furnish a stylish workspace,” Kullberg says. "I think the project has been a triumph.”
Where Berlin, Germany
What 1,776 total square feet on two floors
Cost/sf Withheld at client’s request