Berlin is my ultimate favorite city. Having lived there for over two years, I used to live in different neighborhoods but I finally settled in Wilmersdorf – in a charming side street off Kurfürstendamm. I used to catch an S-Bahn at Zoologischer Garten or U-Bahn at Kurfürstendamm, and in front of my eyes I saw how the nearby area got slowly revamped.  I moved away for work, but I tend to return to Berlin whenever I can; during my recent visit I stayed near Breitscheidplatz where I once lived – it was nice to witness how the area slowly revived.

Complex the Zentrum am Zoo (Centre at the Zoo) at Breitscheidplatz – once a symbol of Berlin’s City West – built in 1957 by architects Paul Schwebes and Hans Schoszberger, is one of the few still preserved contemporary reminders of the eventful history of post-war Berlin. The centerpiece of the complex was the legendary fully glazed Bikinihaus – the name affectionately given by the locals in the 1950s. Abandoned during the Cold War, Zentrum am Zoo transformed into Bikini Berlin in 2014.

Bikini Berlin became a concept shopping mall with carefully curated selection of unique boutiques and a rich gastronomical offer. It offers relaxed and warm ambiance where one feels warm and welcome.

An additional highlight of the Bikini Berlin is its freely accessible rooftop terrace – resembling New York’s Highline Park and Paris’ Coulée verte René-Dumont. It also offers spectacular views onto the neighboring Zoo.

I applaud this transformation of the Zentrum am Zoo, and I can only hope that other European cities will follow this example.