Legendary comfort brand Birkenstock is hitting the road. Timed for Berlin Fashion Week, the Germany-based brand today opened the Box, a mobile-store concept that serves as a blank space for local artistic and other creative talent to re-create and customize it. Its first stop is at the permanent Andreas Murkudis store in the city’s Tiergarten neighborhood.
Behind the Box are reknowned architects Pierre Jorge Gonzalez and Judith Haase, who also created the Andreas Murkudis store. The two have transformed a freight car into a walk-in space that’s set to go on tour to selected retail stores worldwide. It plays host to each partnering store’s interior concept and merchandise proposition. Store owners will curate the product selection, turning the Box into a temporary urban space that encourages creative communication between artists, retailers and customers. Debuting in the concept are two bespoke Birkenstock styles created by the retailer, a black and a green style based on the classic Arizona double-banded sandal. They retail for $270 and are available online.
The mobile container is treated as a light box, reflective from some angles and translucent from others. It has two levels connected by an internal staircase, and they are offset, creating a terrace where the upper level retracts. The design is rooted in the codes of industrial intermodal containers. The vertically corrugated surfaces have been segmented, cut into and paneled with glass and natural wood, which allows outside and natural light to enter. The Box becomes a partially open, breathable object, creating a neutral, balanced and quiet space to showcase the retail offerings.
“Only when the idea behind a space has been eliminated can something of lasting merit emerge,” said the architects.