BIRKENSTOCK BOX LAUNCHES THE FIRST LOCATION AT ANDREAS MURKUDIS
Debut for mobile retail concept during the Berlin Fashion Week
Designed by Gonzalez Haase AAS, BIRKENSTOCK’S mobile retail concept debuts at Andreas Murkudis during Berlin Fashion Week with a cocktail and private dinner. About 300 guests gathered on a summery evening in and around the BOX in the courtyard of 81 Potsdamer Strasse. This marks the first stop for the traveling, ephemeral retail concept.
Guests included Vogue Chief Editor Christiane Arp, Jörg Koch, Lea van Acken, Aino Laberenz, Veronika Heilbrunner and Justin O’ Shea, Caroline Issa, Cecilia Dean, Kostas Murkudis, Thomas Kretschmann and Architects Judith Haase and Pierre Jorge Gonzalez.
At 9:30pm, select guests headed a few doors down to Galerie Judin for a dinner hosted by Andreas Murkudis.
The BOX opens to the public on July 7th at 10 a.m. and will remain at Andreas Murkudis through July 22.
Says Birkenstock CMO Yvonne Piu, “The BIRKENSTOCK BOX will work as a collaborative space where function meets design in every aspect. I’m glad that it became reality.”
Renowned architects Pierre Jorge Gonzalez and Judith Haase have transformed a freight container into a walk-in space that is scheduled go on tour to selected retail stores worldwide. Wherever BIRKENSTOCK BOX goes, it will be presented as blank space for local artistic and other creative talent to recreate and customize it; The store owners will curate the product selection, so the BOX will be a temporary urban space that encourages creative communication between artists, retailers and customers.
BIRKENSTOCK BOX consists of a converted freight container, which plays host to each partnering store’s interior concept and merchandise proposition. Conceived as a traveling space, the container is treated as a light box, reflective from some angles and translucent from others. The two containers are arranged at double height, connected by an internal staircase. Both containers are off-set, creating a terrace where the upper level retracts. The design is rooted in existing codes of industrial intermodal containers. The vertically corrugated surfaces have been segmented, cut into and paneled with glass and natural wood, thus allowing outside and natural light to enter. The play between natural and artificial light is a signature of Gonzalez Haase AAS. These vertical slits visually lighten the structure whilst connecting the interior space with its environment, by emphasizing the movements of the sun. The containers become a partially open, breathable object, creating a neutral, balanced and quiet space to showcase the retailer’s edit.
"Only when the idea behind a space has been eliminated can something of lasting merit emerge,” say Judith Haase and Pierre Jorge Gonzalez.
In this site-specific iteration, BIRKENSTOCK BOX serves as an ephemeral extension to the permanent Andreas Murkudis store, located in Berlin’s Tiergarten neighborhood and also designed by Gonzalez Haase AAS. Here, the BOX plays as an urban ‘prosthetic’ element, extending out from the permanent store into the courtyard. Raised off the ground by cork ‘feet’ acting as solid support for the steel container, the BOX is leveled with the permanent store’s elevated entrance. Customers enter by a platform that usually houses Murkudis’ window displays. The BOX blocks and simultaneously reflects the original view. Mirrored chrome cladding dematerializes the container and integrates it into its surroundings.
The custom-created interior centers around cork, BIRKENSTOCK’S iconic and sustainable key material for its soles with the trademarked footbed. A monumental cork beam assimilates a tree trunk, firmly entrenched into the container’s interior. The beam is pixelated and composes a support for garments, which are shown on vibrant green hangers. Arctic moss adds an element of nature to this urban setting. Minimalist benches are covered in gray industrial felt.
"Good design is a gut feeling,“ says Andreas Murkudis.
In addition to the site-specific interior, Murkudis also curates a selection of apparel, accessories and lifestyle products from various designers and brands to complement the BIRKENSTOCK offering, including limited edition BIRKENSTOCK shoes, exclusive to this location and designed in collaboration with Andreas Murkudis.
The bespoke styles designed by Andreas Murkudis follow the “Allover-Concept” creating a complete black and a complete green style. The favorite classic style Arizona is fully lined by hand in nappa leather, the adjustable metal pin in the same color has a tarnished finish. The style retails at RRP 220,00 EU in Germany and Austria, Switzerland 250,00 CHF and USA 270,00 USD.
All exclusive BIRKENSTOCK styles will also be available on www.birkenstock.com.
Exclusive BIRKENSTOCK footwear styles are displayed on geometric cork slabs, their cork texture juxtaposing the surrounding steel. Murkudis’ curated selection of complementing brands include Aspesi, Yohji Yamamoto, Kolor, Jil Sander amongst others.
81 Potsdamer Strasse
Store Hours from 10am to 8pm