Zalando, Berlin

Oriental and individual - a bistro with atmosphere

Öffentliches Bistro in der Zalando Zentrale Berlin

Client: Zalando, Berlin

Planning: Katrin Voigt, smow Berlin

Year: 2018

Furnished areas: Bistro

Zalando Bistro Bambusleuchten


The project began with which a Pinterest picture that a large German online mail order company for shoes, fashion and cosmetics approached the smow planning team in Berlin. Specifically Zalando's request included the redesign of two rooms in the company's bistro area, including design-related ideas, from special furniture to bamboo lights. Overall, the bistro should radiate an environmental responsibility in every respect, mixed with Moroccan-oriental elements and the matching furniture and lights in light wood, along with the individual design elements that previously only existed as Pinterest images. Indications of possible dealers, brands or other clues to how to proceed had to be discovered being as they were not ready off-the-shelf. So the smow team got down to work, researched, planned - and came to the conclusion that the desired network discoveries by the online mail order business were nowhere to be found. Thus the credo of the smow planning team in order to achieve exactly the aha effect that Zalando wanted was: Do it yourself.

Orientalische Leuchten von smow
Orient inspired lights create a contemporary Far Eastern flair
Bambusleuchten für Zalando


What does a planning team do that sees the customer's wishes bursting like soap bubbles because the customer's specifications, such as certain social media images, turn out to be castles in the air? 

We had to think different, ...

was obvious to the smow Berlin team, because they made a virtue out of necessity. 

Luminaire manufacturer Belux was engaged, as was the carpentry company, which had already gained some experience in the realisation of smow projects, and so smow Berlin simply created the desired lights themselves.The unique smow items in the Mikado look made of bamboo were constructed in meticulous small-scale planning, with important details such as ventilation incorporated. The smow team did exactly the same with the desired high tables, which, for example, should have a special technical design for USB connections. Of course, the furniture that could be assigned to the brand and dealer was also ordered for the customer. However, smow was also convincing here with its own expertise: matching and qualitatively much more convincing furniture from Norr11 now round off the furnishing concept and is a worthwhile investment with the right price/performance ratio. The ecological aspect of the customer's request was rounded off by moss walls and Moroccan wooden tiles - in perfect harmony! 

Project Synopsis

Liberal, with a cosmopolitan flair - the Zalando Bistro has become a unique spot in the company, a location which on the one hand invites the team to take a break and on the other hand welcomes guests in the public area. The friendly Moroccan character, complemented by the moss walls, make the two rooms a harmonious whole. The unique bamboo lights act not only as lighting, but as a design element and real eye-catcher. In addition, the Mikado look is the icing on the cake as the design: bamboo and the arrangement of the lights not only fit into the room concept, but also create an Aha! experience: true smow unique items, inspired by just one social media image. The customer specifications for furniture were taken into account in the smow concept and further developed so that the room structure is now rounded off by light wooden furniture from Nor11 and ARTEK lights. The bistro is airy, modern, attractive and cosy. The creativity and innovation from brainstorming to realization make the room an airy, modern, functionally coherent and unique place to take a break with an oriental flair. 

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