B-bis has designed a new studio space for PSLab Lighting in Berlin Charlottenburg. After Stuttgart, Antwerp (which was an Erfgoedjuweel finalist only recently), Bologna and London (and Paris and Amsterdam in the making) it is the fifth studio in Europe to showcase the company’s unique design process, materials, mock-ups and technical light.
The architecture and design magazine Dezeen was our guest at the opening of the new Berlin studio, resulting in this article and accompanying video, highlighting the interior in more detail.
Situated in Charlottenburg on Niebuhrstrasse, the location of the new PSLab atelier has been chosen deliberately between luxury Kurfürstendamm and gritty Kantstrasse – an area defined by galleries, small neighbourhood restaurants and shops.
Housed on the ground floor of a 1907 residential building, the context-specific architecture of the studio resembles the company’s bespoke approach to light, taking cues from the classic yet pure and abstract atmosphere of the city.
A contemporary large zinc and glass sliding door welcomes visitors into the studio, placing them immediately into a stage-like surrounding, and revealing a view through the space into a beautiful green courtyard. As a highly contemporary element, in contrast – but embracing the historic Niebuhrstrasse, the window projects what to expect inside.
An interpretation of classicistic elements, like arches and colonnades, found in the city, and the symmetry of the building itself define the architecture of the space.
Three main spaces define the studio
By integrating the basement, the front room is characterised by a double-height space of 6 metre, where light can be shown in various heights and configurations like a theatre stage.
Walking though arches, the garden room is defined by its views to the green, ivy-leafed courtyard. It is used as a workshop space - integrating a physical materials library where clients can feel, touch, and explore the particular design process of the brand. Large open window bays flood the space with natural light and invite to sit and enjoy tranquillity.
The cosy atmosphere of the lower space invites guests for informal and intimate conversations. Here, the team can also show off the lighting lab’s extensive digital library.
All materials are chosen to show off light rather than the architecture itself. As light is one of nature’s purest elements which often features in sacred spaces, it is the overarching reference for the new PSLab space.
Layers of different shades of limewash, in combination with concrete, zinc and fabric components deliver this calm and sacred atmosphere and are an ideal canvas to present and explore light.
A grey-steel gantry system on the ceiling of both, front and garden rooms plays centre stage in the overall design and incorporates not only light sources but all technical elements.
The entire space is built with light in mind. With this new home, PSLab will be able to explain the process-driven thinking and explore light, shade and atmosphere, with clients and collaborators.
B-architecten has been a well-established name in the architecture world for over 25 years. The design office grew to include offices in Antwerp, Brussels and Ghent with four divisions: B-architecten, B-bis, B-city and B-juxta.
B-bis architecten focuses on the design of smaller-scaled architectural projects, residential interior design, offices and shops, scenographies for exhibitions and performing arts, temporary installations and furniture design.
Overall, B is an office with more than 100 team members and very diverse projects, ranging from door handle to urban district. Each B-team has its particular focus and way of working, yet they all share a distinct innovative view on the variety of projects the B-platforms stand for.
PSLab are lighting experts specialised in the designing, communicating, planning, implementing, and manufacturing of light and light fixtures.
Every project is approached in a unique and process-driven way – not working from a catalogue but an expansive physical and digital materials library and very bespoke designs.
With studios in Antwerp, Amsterdam, Beirut, Berlin, Bologna, London, Paris, and Stuttgart and over 120 full-time staff - all light products are produced in Beirut.
Lukas Beer (site architect)
Lukas Beer, based in Berlin, is an architect working in all HOAI phases with particular experience in high-end residential projects. He has exhibited at the Finnish Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale.