The redesigned bookshop at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt welcomes visitors under a floating canopy in shades of red. It is conceived as a temporary space featuring reused elements from previous exhibitions.

Project Name: HKW Bookshop, Berlin
Brief: Temporary bookshop with recycled elements and materials from former exhibitions
Client: Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Architecture Firm: Sauerbruch Hutton
Firm Location: Berlin, Germany
Completion Year: 2022
Gross Floor Area: 52 m²
Project location: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin

Design team:
Louisa Hutton, Matthias Sauerbruch, Juan Lucas Young;
Vera Hartmann, María Silvestre Martinez

HKW Bookshop by Sauerbruch Hutton - Sheet2
©Jan Bitter

As part of the large entrance hall, it is located in a transitional “in between” area which, through minimal interventions, has been transformed into a space of encounter.

HKW Bookshop by Sauerbruch Hutton - Sheet3
©Jan Bitter

The new design gives the main focus to the books and to the existing architecture of the entrance hall, with the elegant dark stone wall, light floor and the large marble bench. Alongside this stone wall, continuous shelves create the effect of an infinite line when reflected in the glass façade. Filigree tables, made from the same light grey MDF boards as the shelves, are used to display the books. Translucent screens, composed of a steel frame and recycled polycarbonate sheets, can be moved freely to create an adaptable space. Furniture and screens integrate seamlessly into the architecture, almost disappearing into the background and allowing the books on display to virtually levitate in front of the wall.

HKW Bookshop by Sauerbruch Hutton - Sheet4
©Jan Bitter

Together with the books, the design of the ceiling brings movement and colour to the space contrasting the otherwise subdued colour scheme of the architecture and new design fixtures. Besides providing improved acoustics, the cloud of textile flags marks the boundary of the bookstore and makes it clearly recognisable from afar. Oscillating tones of red, orange, green and white create a warm atmosphere for the space underneath, which conveys a sense of openness and intimacy and focuses concentration on reading.


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