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The stilwerk Hotel KantGaragen

Introducing stilwerk Hotel KantGaragen in Berlin

In the 1930s, the Kant garages were an architectural sensation – built to meet the needs of wealthy motorists. Then the building fell into disrepair over time and was almost demolished. The preservation order saved it, and finally the company stilwerk took over.

But they haven’t only launched one of their famous furniture and design stores, but also a wonderful hotel. Not just any hotel, but a unique, very-Berlin-hotel. We talked to Alexander Garbe, stilwerk owner, about that special place.

»The conversion of the KantGaragen in Berlin was an absolute stroke of luck for us.«
stilwerk owner Alexander Garbe (@Niculai Constantiescu)
Before we talk about the hotel, we would like to know more about the KantGaragen. How did it come about that stilwerk discovered this historic building as a new location in Berlin?

The search for special and inspiring places has basically been part of stilwerk’s DNA since the beginning: it all started with a former malt factory at Hamburg’s Fischmarkt in the Mid-90s. The transformation of this historical building into a destination for design and holistic lifestyle still shapes the brand’s self-perception today.

The conversion of the KantGaragen in Berlin was an absolute stroke of luck for us and at the same time a step “back to the roots”: once again we were able to create inspiring spaces for design, art and lifestyle in a unique architectural monument.

Reviving this extraordinary place and thus preserving it is also entirely in the spirit of a sustainable culture that relies on conversion and further development instead of new construction. By the way: our stilwerk Hotel Heimhude in Hamburg is also an art nouveau villa from the last century.

The KantGaragen today (@Ken Schluchtmann)
stilwerk KantGaragen shop & event area (@Ken Schluchtmann)
Inside the KantGaragen (@Ken Schluchtmann)
stilwerk Hotel KantGaragen (@stilwerk)
stilwerk Hotel KantGaragen (@stilwerk)
stilwerk Hotel KantGaragen (@stilwerk)
Berlin does not lack hotels. How or why did the decision come about to also establish a hotel on that property?

In fact, the hotel had already been planned beforehand, so the aforementioned stroke of luck proved to be a perfect match because since 2019, we have expanded our portfolio to include the hospitality sector as well. First with the stilwerk Hotel Heimhude on Hamburg’s Alster and now in Berlin. The special feature here: for the first time, we can combine a design centre and a hotel in one place and thus make design a truly holistic experience.

Design Art Festival at the KantGaragen (@stilwerk)
The first coffee ... (@stilwerk)
stilwerk Hotel KantGaragen (@stilwerk)
stilwerk Hotel KantGaragen (@stilwerk)
What is the design concept of the hotel and the rooms?

In an urban and central location in the heart of Charlottenburg, the hotel has 61 studios on 7 floors and is exclusively furnished with interior design classics. Modernity, history, and the design of the building are reflected in the curated materials and design elements.

The studios are pared down to the essentials, urban and at the pulse of the city and the home of the discerning, design-savvy traveller. We have paid special attention to sustainably produced furniture, accessories, and lighting from European manufacturers as well as natural materials.

The Breakfast Bistro (@stilwerk)
Breakfast! (@stilwerk)
The Breakfast Bistro (@stilwerk)
What makes the Kantstraße location particularly attractive?

Kantstraße, in all its pulsating diversity, has established itself as a hotspot for design in Berlin. This is exactly what we are a part of and with this wonderful ensemble, we can revive a special, unique place that only exists here.

The Hotel Bookshop (@stilwerk)
At the shop (@stilwerk)
Design Art Festival at the KantGaragen (@stilwerk)
Design Art Festival at the KantGaragen (@stilwerk)
Page turner (@stilwerk)
GM Jessica Schöndorf (@stilwerk)
How long has the hotel been open and what future plans do you have for the KantGaragen?

The hotel has been open since September 2022. In fact, in the future we are planning exciting new formats in the area of lifestyle, DIY and food in our book shop cafe and breakfast restaurant. Here, too, location plays an important role; all formats are planned with the involvement of the design-savvy community and with sustainability in mind … for culture-loving Berliners and lifestyle lovers, of course.

stilwerk KantGaragen backside (@Ken Schluchtmann)
Will there be more hotels in other stilwerk locations?

With stilwerk Rotterdam, we will open our first destination outside Germany next year. Here, similar to Berlin, we are combining our two core businesses, retail and hospitality, in a historical building, a former coffee warehouse.

The brick building will be extended by an attic, which will house 16 serviced flats. Curated by stilwerk, and furnished by stilwerk partners, these unique living spaces are the icing on the cake of the building. Individual buildings with a history are rare, but if an opportunity arises, we always keep an eye out for new properties and plan to expand the portfolio of stilwerk hotels.

Thank you, Alexander!

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