The global retail implementation program continues with the opening of the Berlin flagship store. From our beginning with shop-in-shop locations in New York and Boston, our partnership with Sonos has blossomed through our design of a new prototype brand experience that was implemented with the opening of Sonos’ initial European concept store in London. In seeking to expand to Europe’s mainland, the cultural and music hub of Berlin was the perfect place for the next retail location. The new flagship store pays homage to Berlin’s culturally diverse music, art, and club scene – and their love for listening to music out loud – in the brand immersion event space.
The freedom to listen to music at will and out loud is not a concept that Berliners have always been able to take for granted. When the wall came down, abandoned buildings were repurposed for underground music venues, setting the stage for an electrified club scene that has led to Berlin’s reputation as the modern mecca for techno music, art, culture, and live music. Sonos’ move to mainland Europe was a natural fit in the Mitte neighborhood of the city. Known as the middle of Berlin, and home to the city’s best dance clubs, the Sonos immersive brand experience is right at home.
To tackle the challenges of developing stores outside of the U.S., Bergmeyer assembled and led a global team for the creation and branding of the Berlin store. Working with partners who were local to the Berlin area helped to navigate through the local building code and zoning rules. One of the main design challenges was to create a comfortable flow within the space and between areas, as well as maximizing the use of the floor plate. Our experiential design focused on creating lounge-like areas throughout the store, encouraging customers to relax and enjoy their listening experience while also being able to accommodate a sizeable crowd.
Guests can stream their music choices between two “listening experience rooms” that replicate a home-listening experience. Now a recognizable staple of Sonos’ stores, we improved upon the designs of past listening rooms and made them adaptable to new locations. Two Berlin-based artists, Lena Petersen & 44 Flavours, contributed their signature styles to the rooms, and are the first of many artists that will be displayed in the store. Sonos will also host artists and musicians for events that inspire and connect guests to Berlin’s eclectic music and cultural scene.
Each room in the space is equipped with an optimized sound environment, allowing customers to be immersed in the ultimate sound experience. The latest acoustic technologies have been assimilated into the design, such as the use of floating acoustic panels that are either hidden behind the artistic setting or blend seamlessly into the space. Materials specified for the store – from carpeting, to wall and ceiling applications – are incorporated as design elements that also contribute to the sound quality.
With a successful global expansion strategy in place, we’re looking forward to the future and celebrating with the music turned up (to 11)!