A fixture of the vibrant arts scene in Germany’s capital, what’s nowknown as the Wintergarten Berlin opened in the 19th century and survivedthe decadent 1920’s before being destroyed by a World War IIbombing raid, eventually reopening in 1992. Since then, the theaterhas continued to draw performers of all stripes. It has also attracteddesign talent. Operating as Bennett & Böhme, Fiona Bennett and Hans-Joachim Böhme whose first collaboration was the Fiona Bennett millineryshop that they own and operate together, right across the streetfrom the Wintergarten have now expanded from fashion to interiorswith a reinvention of the theater’s basement, home to the restrooms.Bennett and Böhme jumped at the chance to reconceive the 3,000square feet, already built out by Meyer-Rogge + Kutsche Architektur,as an immersive art installation.“No standard white tile or fluorescentlighting,” Böhme says.Bennett adds, “Behind all of itlies the concept of infusing afunctional space with graceand poetry.”The first flush of excitement,so to speak, is a white marblestaircase that sweeps downfrom the theater lobby to alounge. Plush red button-tuftedvelvet-covered ottomans arescattered about the mosaic tileflooring, flashing hints of gold.Overhead, clear glass spheresare suspended from a ceiling.
walk through bath/spa
Clockwise from top left: Fiona Bennett is reflected in the etched mirror of a door to the women’s restroom. Velvet covers the lounge’s custom ottomans. Custom door handles for the women’s restroom are coated brass. Lacquered plywood arches separate the women’s stalls. Opposite: Stone and glass mosaics tile the floor of the lounge.