A publishing house built on books


New Work, Berlin, 2019

A tailor-made solution, simple and elegant, which would fit 135 employees and thousands of books: The renowned Suhrkamp Verlag was looking for a spatial concept that would reflect the identity of the publishing house.

"Our vision was a house, which rests on multi-story high stacked books instead of walls and columns. Accordingly, shelves had to fill almost every free space on the walls while simultaneously replacing them." – Karim El-Ishmawi, Kinzo co-founder and CEO
Kinzo created a space that was both customized to the different needs of the users and flexible, at the same time allowing colleagues to work across rooms with natural communication at eye level.

A special trick was used to create more wall space, and thus, nearly five kilometers worth of shelf: Kinzo designed bookshelf walls which meander through the six floors of the building, like an internal façade. This idea also optimized the space in the rooms and created small niches – usable for all employees as retreat rooms for spontaneous meetings, communication islands, think tanks or telephone booths.

Although high-quality materials and products were used and many fixtures had to be custom-made, the solutions remained cost-effective and within budget.

This institution of high culture now proudly presents itself with a fresh face.

Photos by Simon Schnepp for Schnepp Renou and Sebastian Dörken
Client Suhrkamp Verlag AG
Year 2019
Location Berlin
GFA: 3.271 sqm
Architecture Bundschuh Architekten