2015-02-24 - That little bit of extra knowledge that comes from designing in your hometown can translate into a perfect synergy of location and space; it certainly seems the case for Studio Aisslinger’s design of the Bugaboo Brand store Berlin.
Bugaboo spoke with head designer Werner Aisslinger and interior architect Dirk Borchering of Studio Aisslinger, the contemporary and established, Berlin-based studio responsible for the design. Working closely with Chief Design Officer and Bugaboo founders Max Barenbrug and Eduard van Zanen, an idea was conceived around truly experiencing the Bugaboo brand. The design of the shop reflects the qualities of two extremes, the Bugaboo Bee³ – the urban stroller – and the Bugaboo Buffalo – the all-terrain stroller, while offering a complete selection of all four strollers and accompanying accessories.
“The idea came to us after watching a documentary about nature vs. city,” explains Dirk Borchering. “We really wanted to recreate the urban feeling by using rough materials, leaving the concrete walls bare, and showing the wiring system. The feeling of nature was brought in by natural materials such as wood, leather, and an entirely green wall full of plants.”
Once you step over the threshold, the fresh smell of Swiss Pine wood hits you, immediately creating a warm, homely feel in the otherwise large, open-plan space. Dirk explains: “We wanted to create a relaxing atmosphere and design an experience instead of a retail space.” As such, the store is divided into three sections: at the front of the shop, customers can see, touch and test out Bugaboo products - there's even a test track. The middle of the shop is designed as a meeting area where fresh coffee is served and customers can chat with Bugaboo hosts, but also meet each other or take some time to relax. A huge display cabinet dominates the back wall and is filled with games, records, cassettes and memorabilia from the 70s and 80s.
“We figured that most of our customers would have grown up in the late 70s and 80s, so we wanted to give that feel of nostalgia,” explains designer Werner Aisslinger. “Bugaboo is an autonomous brand and this shop has a completely new approach in the stroller world: being cool and speaking to parents who want to stay on the move.” And stay on the move they will, because the back of the shop has been designed as an industrial-looking repair shop where parents can handover their stroller for a checkup or repair. It harks back to the idea of sustainability, important for both Bugaboo (whose strollers are designed to last for years and years) and Studio Aisslinger (who work with many natural and locally-sourced materials).
Of course Bugaboo’s Max Barenbrug and Eduard van Zanen both played a big role in the interior design of the shop, picking custom lighting system to suit any mood and time of day, and co-creating the store concept one material at a time. Each piece of furniture was custom made for the shop by Studio Aisslinger, including all lamps, chairs, and display units.
We asked Werner whether designing in his hometown brought a special touch. “Of course. When you’re in another city or country it can be difficult to understand the culture, but in your hometown you live the culture and know the style. When you design something in your own area you have to do your very best, because you know your friends will see your design.” Werner seems happy with the end result: “The spot itself is perfect, the shop matches the area, and the Bugaboo brand matches the area.”