Grand Designs

Writer Vicki Williams | January 11, 2016

Berlin is a constantly evolving and dynamic capital city, with design at the forefront of change, be it high tech, cutting edge, cultural, artistic or experimental. This design DNA was officially recognised in 2006, when the German capital was officially designated a UNESCO City of Design, the first in the country to be included in the Creative Cities Network organised by UNESCO. The organisation described the city as “a true centre for the creative industries for both amateur and established creators alike. Berlin has demonstrated remarkable social, economic and cultural achievements in the field of design”.

The design-centric discoveries and experiences that await are as vast as the city itself. From top hotels to renovated industrial buildings teaming with creative offerings, from its museums and galleries, to its distinct neighbourhoods, Berlin is a city of design.   


Das Stue

One of the first opportunities to experience Berlin’s personality is by staying at a design-driven hotel. Once the Danish embassy, the design-awarded Das Stue manages to achieve harmony between its 1930s classicist architecture and modern opposite new additions. The stunning and whimsical interiors of the public areas were created and curated by the famous Spanish architect and designer, Patricia Urquiola. The gorgeous rooms have been designed by Spanish architectural office LVG Arquitectura, featuring bespoke furnishings and photography chosen by the hotel’s owners, avid art collectors – all art on display is from their private collections with sculptures from noted artists of the genre. It is also home to a Michelin-starred restaurant and a Susanne Kaufmann Boutique SPA that uses only organic, natural products.


Hotel Zoo

Another stunning transformation is Hotel Zoo, which re-opened just over a year ago after two years of renovation. Dating back to 1891, this former grand private residence first became a hotel in 1911, and by the 1950s was the favoured destination of the international film set. It has once again secured a preferred status of the discerning thanks to the designer Dayna Lee (who, for many years, worked as an art director and set director for the Hollywood movie industry), combining stylistic original elements with movie-set inspired additions. The glamorous bespoke rooms impress from the start, as does the entrance featuring a lengthy Diane von Fürstenberg designed carpet.

25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin 

A thoroughly modern offering is 25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin which opened in 2014. Its playful, bright, industrial-chic interiors created by renowned furniture designer, Werner Aisslinger, capture both the urban culture and the green jungle-esque nature. One side represents the urban, dominated by modern materials and city views, and on the other nature (overlooking a zoo and the city’s oldest public park, Tiergarten) with floor-to-ceiling windows, hanging sofas (and in-room hammocks), woods and warm tones. Its top-floor restaurant and bar, with rooftop terrace and great views, is popular with both locals and visitors.


To discover Berlin is to discover a city with aesthetic appeal