To sip in luxury, the people of Berlin, globetrotters, and bar aficionados alike can indulge in the Moët & Chandon Bar, located on the 6th floor of KaDeWe. Spearheading the design for the space are Canadian designers George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg under their design firm Yabu Pushelberg. The duo have worked together since the ’80s, working with some of the most esteemed brands and names across hospitality and luxury. With the bar situated on the KaDeWe’s legendary food floor, the Möet & Chandon champagne bar brings a new meaning to the phrase “extra-class.” A selection of delicacies — from deconstructed currywurst to bouchon précjeux — are available to relish in all while sipping champagne cocktails like Royal Red and the Punch Romaine.
All of this is brought together by the bar’s overall aesthetic and ambiance, elegantly and deftly woven together by Yabu and Pushelberg. With locals and globetrotters in mind, the space is both timeless and modern, keeping with Möet’s longstanding presence. Schön! chats with the creative duo about their design process for the space, what parts of Möet they incorporated into the project, and more.
What attracted you to designing such a momentous project like designing the Moët Bar?
Glenn: We designed a project for the LVMH group and from that, they asked if we could work with them to help reinvent Möet as an idea. We’ve been working on it off and on for years now, showing people the history of what the brand is and how to elevate the brand. So we wanted to make a champagne bar as an experiment to make something bigger.
Working and designing within a small space can be tricky — especially in a department store.
George: Yes, it is, but it’s good because you can close everything right off so you aren’t even aware of the department store after hours — it has a separate entrance and elevators.
Glenn: People think of Möet as in the middle and Dom Pérignon as more elevated or special, but we wanted to center them and use the colour red and run it deep into the project. It’s about sensuality. Then, we put [the colour] cream into the accents which is about warmth. That’s how to make it an emotionally connected project rather than just talking about the brand — we want people to feel emotional.
Yes, you want people to stay here and feel comfortable!
Glenn: Yeah, and the other secret that George mentioned earlier is the lighting. It’s warm and soft, not harsh. You’re drawn back into here. George is the expert on it [light], a lot of people and clients don’t consider lighting.
George: We paint the surfaces with light — it’s like using a bucket of paint. It’s the most important thing.
What were some of the attributes of Moët & Chandon that you incorporated into the space?
George: The champagne colour, the gold, too.
Glenn: We have a friend based in Paris who did the materiality on the bar because we wanted to do something textured.
George: We didn’t want it to be obvious though, like French materials and marble floors. We wanted to use plank floors that are used for the barrels and make them softer and more balanced.
Glenn: There is a lot of shininess so we wanted to mirror that with more natural textures.
How did you initially approach designing the space? What were some of the words or images that were on your initial mood/planning boards?
Glenn: We start by thinking in more abstract ways. We ask questions like how we make it more relevant and elevate the product. We then start to think of an imaginary house. We imagine an older champagne drinker celebrating while making it about joy and fun and keeping it youthful, too. We start making storyboards about who we think the imaginary client is and then take the feeling and go from there, connecting to what the product is.
Lastly, what do you hope connoisseurs and globetrotters feel while visiting and indulging in the space?
George: They want to be connected to where they are rather than being in touristy stuff. They are sophisticated travellers and they want to have a sense of where they are and have it be accessible and have fun. You can be in here and do bad things if you want [laughs].
Glenn: For the global traveller, if we created more places like this, I’d want to make them so there was some connectivity while still being unique and special.
Check out Moët & Chandon Bar for more information on the space.
interview. Raoul Keil