Universal have been commissioned by Kadewe to redesign the 6th floor quadrant of restaurants, bars and retail as part of their new OMA led redevelopment of the historic and much-loved department store.
The 2,200 sqm space features a suite of restaurants, retail counters and 10 concessions, including the Berlin institutions ‘Austernbar’ and ‘Fischkutter’ restaurants. Comprising nearly 750 covers, the quadrant has been designed around a new central atrium, master-planned to open up the floor and connect to the once-closed historic and new facades, bringing in natural light and offering views over the city.
The design takes inspiration from documentary photographs from historic Kadewe interiors from the early 1900’s and the 1930’s and a contemporary take on the tone and materiality of Berlin. A series of spaces with their own individuality, but visually and thematically linked.
On arrival, the atrium area comprises a bespoke radial lighting installation, a refined palette of gridded honed limestone, greyed-ash wall panelling and fine polished plaster.
A Berlin institution, the ‘Austernbar’ (Oyster-bar in English) is the heart of the new quadrant. A space to see and be seen, the 12m long sculpted pewter bar and a polished steel canopy is designed as a viewing device to reflect the amazing range of fresh produce and seafood preparation and cookery on show. New glazed partitions hint at the design of the historic windows, along with lighting from Classicon, marble tables and pedestals, and timber marquetry panelling.
‘Fischkuttter’ has been re-designed to create a relaxed yet sophisticated eatery. Inspired by the materiality of Berlin and planned around a centrally-located shell-imbued marble bar where the chefs prepare every dish, the space features a palette of raw leather, blackened steel, stained ash and black walnut, and classic chairs from German supplier Thonet, next to the newly formed external windows and outdoor terrace, offering far-reaching views over Berlin.
The new retail area for fresh fish, involves fish counters haven been arranged with new open preparation and display areas, designed around the skill of the Kadewe fishmongers. The fresh fish counter is clad with a bespoke rectangular deep-blue speckle-glazed ceramic tile, a subtle reference to the U-Bahn tiled stations of Berlin. The Salmon counter, smokehouse and eatery uses dark, raw and earthy materials such as honed basalt, charred timber and blackened steel to highlight the deep colours of the cured and smoked fish.