London architecture and design studio Freehaus have designed and led the delivery of a new multi-functional coworking space centered around food innovation in the Mitte district of Berlin. Working alongside internationally renowned German food company Bahlsen, Freehaus played a key role in developing the strategic brief for this project which was borne out of an initial desire to revisit the ethos of invention and experimentation which has been at the heart of Bahlsen throughout its long and continuing history as a family business.
The initial design approach evolved from early explorations through Bahlsen’s extensive 125 year archive and through reflection on the spirit and intellectual curiosities of the organisation’s founder after whom Hermann’s is named. The centre piece is a 20 metre cast in-situ concrete counter that threads through the columns within the space. Its minimal aesthetic and form references the original conveyor belt machines of Bahlsen’s Hanover-based factory, which were the first of their kind in Germany. “A key aspect of the brief was to provide a space with similar yet contemporary opportunities for gastronomic demonstrations and interactions with the public and local food & produce communities.”