A two-story beer tank, chandeliers that move as if they’re breathing, a multi-story toy superstore, and a gigantic NBA basketball store—what’s to come in Berlin-Mitte’s former Potsdamer Platz arcades is what’s to come According to Karl Wambach from Brookfield, it is not a shopping mall, but an entertainment area, an “ecosystem” that nestles into its surroundings. Hence the new name: “The Playce”. A play on words made up of game and space.
So far, Potsdamer Platz has not exactly been known as a fun place, but rather as a completely renovated concrete desert, which is visited by tourists but avoided by locals. Who, living in this city, would seriously consider taking a trip to Potsdamer Platz on a Saturday afternoon? Brookfield wants to change that with The Playce.
However, it was the listed company itself that made Potsdamer Platz what it is now. Because the Canadian real estate investor bought the entire area between Stresemannstrasse and Potsdamer Strasse in 2016. Every store you know in the area – whether it’s Five Guys, Paulaner or Brammibal’s Donuts – has a lease with Brookfield.
It will be the same in the planned mall: the system is reminiscent of an analogue marketplace. One decides who is there – and who is not. Wambach emphasizes this several times during the tour, Brookfield, the mixture is extremely important. Local shops, which he calls “national champions”, as well as international chains are intended to attract Berliners, tourists and office workers.
A food court with seating is planned for the basement. The design is ordinary: lots of white, lots of shine and plastic. As if the main thing is that you can wipe all surfaces quickly. In addition, shops for local supply are planned downstairs, i.e. supermarkets and drugstores for the people who live and work around Potsdamer Platz.
The superlative Brookfield shopping paradise will then be built on the ground floor. With a stage for performances, 90 shops, 22 gastronomy units and three bars – some of which are scheduled to open in mid-September. The opening is planned in stages. According to Brookfield, everything will be completely finished by 2025.
According to Wambach, the Mall of Berlin, which is only a five-minute walk away, is no competitor. “They have a completely different concept.”
In The Playce, the shop areas should be open on all sides, so that the hustle and bustle not only takes place inside the mall, but also around it. A strategy that city planners have been recommending for years. It could help to really reactivate the historic site at Potsdamer Platz – the site that was only a few meters from the death strip until 33 years ago. Not as a place of culture, but rather as a place of consumption.