The production of women’s outerwear was one of the leading industries in the Berlin of the postwar years. Fashion clothing was once manufactured in the Bikinihaus as well. But the name can also be traced back to the building’s structure. An open-sided storey between the first and third floor divided the elongated building horizontally into two parts. This floor was closed in the late 70s. The extensive renovation of the building makes the break in the façade perceptible again.
The Bikinihaus is the centrepiece and namesake of the revitalisation of the listed building complex between the Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church) and Berlin Zoo undertaken by the company Bayerische Hausbau. The Munich-based developers commissioned Hild und K architects with the implementation and revision of the master plan from SAQ architects in Brussels in line with listed building standards.
The bar-shaped, six-story Bikinihaus stretches over 200 metres parallel to Budapester Straße. Something unexpected is revealed at the rear of the building: a new, curved, two-story annex with a welcoming roof terrace is nestled on the rectilinear house, creating a soft connection to the directly adjacent zoological garden and the neighbouring buildings.
Covering an area of approximately 17,000 square metres Bikinihaus in the Concept Shopping Mall provides space for catering and trade. Office space is located on the third to sixth floors. The lower three floors are open to the public: there are shops, restaurants and service providers in the Concept Shopping Mall. In the Bikini Berlin Pool there is a kind of marketplace, which is housed in the new building behind Bikinihaus, where there is space for pop-up stores. The highlight of the Bikini Berlin Pool is a four times 14 metre large panorama window that offers views of the Affenfelsen (monkey rocks) in the zoo. Large stairs lead from Budapester Straße out onto the roof terrace with views of “Berlin’s green lungs”. Skylights and landscaped areas arch three-dimensionally from the terrace level, and a central staircase cuts in, which leads into the rooms below. The boundaries between inside and outside, between a listed building and modern architecture, and between Bikinihaus and the Zoological Gardens melt seamlessly into one another.
As part of the restructuring measures, the structure was initially demolished completely and gutted. Only the raw concrete structure has been preserved. Reconstructions now replace the original façade elements at Budapester Straße. Here, the replica was painstakingly matched to the original traces of colour found in the original. With its projections and recesses in concrete and the filigree pattern of windows and glass balustrades, the façade remains as elegant and delicate as the model from the 50s. “The declared aim of the redevelopment process was to recreate the easiness of the construction period again in the middle of a colourful, internationally oriented Berlin of the 2010s”, stated the architect. “A lively appearance is characteristic of Bikinihaus.” At the back of the building, however, the façade was adapted visually and functionally to suit present conditions.
The specialist in coating aluminium façade components, HD Wahl from Jettingen-Scheppach, provided components with four different anodized colours and the DURAFLON® premium coating for the project. A total of 15 shades of enamel based on fluoropolymers were used. They are conducive to the long-term preservation of the facades: DURAFLON® is extremely weather-resistant and has a very high colour retention. In addition, the passive self-cleaning properties of the densely networked, dirt-repellent coating will also maintain the appearance of the surfaces and their value in the future.
In this built environment, where the existing quality is fully transferred into the present, DURAFLON® is a perfect coating solution. It is not only thanks to its precise adaptability to the creative ideas of architects and planners – with its product features, such as EPD certified premium coating, it also highlights the idea of value retention and resistance.