‘People need to be wowed,’ Werner Aisslinger told Frame magazine recently. ‘You have to create experiences that astonish them. They don’t want a bathroom or a bed like they have at home.’

Studio Aisslinger adds yet another design to its series of spaces for the Bikini Berlin brand with Kantini, a concept shopping centre that purports to be Europe’s first design food court. Kantini feels more like a tropical farmers market than a shopping centre food court, merging a luscious jungle aesthetic with contemporary forms. The atmosphere of the exotic is further emphasized by the location of the complex – adjacent to the city zoo, views into the monkey enclosure lie directly accross from boutique furniture stores.

Having designed Neni, Monkey Bar and the 25 Hours Hotel in Bikini Berlin, Studio Aisslinger expands its portfolio with a unique visual experience of saturated tropical hues and architectural forms that reflect the variety of cuisines available at the food stalls. The naturalist theme is given an abstract representation that takes cues from David Hockney as well as the foliage of Southern California. Bright-coloured upholstery imitates succulents and cacti in a pop-art depiction of a semi-arid town along the Pacific coast.

Bare concrete columns, exposed ducts and coloured metal grids complement the array of furniture specially designed by the Berlin-based studio for brands including Moroso, Wästberg and B.Lux. Custom pieces ensure a fluid layout and make the most of panoramic views of the zoo.

The 1,800-sq-m space distributes vibrant details, modern forms, and depictions of desert fauna across an already impressive architectural structure. At the same time, the zoo animals just beyond the windows and the foliage-filled interior induces a sense of disorientation in visitors to the Berlin shopping centre, bringing a SoCal dynamic to the temperate city.


Location Budapester Str. 38-50, 10787 Berlin, Germany