© Jan Bitter

The redesigned bookshop at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt was conceived as a temporary space featuring reused elements from previous exhibitions. As part of the large entrance hall, it was located in a transitional “in between” area which, through minimal interventions, had been transformed into a space of encounter under a floating canopy in shades of red.

The new design left the protagonist’s role to the books and the existing architecture of the entrance hall with its beautiful dark stonewall, creamy floor and big marble bench. Alongside this stonewall continuous shelves created the effect of an infinite line when reflected in the glass façade. Filigree tables made from the same wood as the shelves were used to display the books. Translucent screens, composed of a steel frame and recycled plexiglas, could be moved freely to create an adaptable space. Furniture and screens integrated seamlessly into the architecture, almost disappearing into the background and allowing the books on display to virtually levitate in front of the wall.

Together with the books the design of the ceiling brought 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 marked the delimitation of the bookstore and made it clearly recognisable from afar. Oscillating tones of red, orange and white created a warm atmosphere for the space underneath, which conveyed a sense of openness and intimacy and focused concentration on reading.


  • Temporary bookshop with recycled elements and materials from former exhibitions


  • Haus der Kulturen der Welt


  • gross floor area: 52 m²
  • 2022

project team