'A lot of people walk by and ask, "Is this a gallery? Can we come in?"' says Andreas Murkudis, leaning back in a Muller van Severen chair. The chair is on display in Murkudis' latest eponymous outlet: a furniture and design object showroom, located in Berlin's blossoming Tiergarten neighbourhood.
It's no wonder passers-by are a little confused: the storefront, facing Potsdamer Strasse in the now-gentrified red-light district, has no sign out front, is filled with tiles and vessels from Morocco and Portugal, and surrounded by a handful of A-list art galleries, such as Blain|Southern and Thomas Fischer.
Four years ago, the German-Greek Murkudis moved his retail operation from a backyard in Mitte to set up a concept store in a former printing house, redesigned by architects Gonzalez Haase. Murkudis brought in fashion brands such as Céline, Dries Van Noten and The Row, but also collectable design by E15, Nymphenburg and ClassiCon. Now he has opened a dedicated design space, making that part of the business far more than an interesting sideline. 'I felt we needed to clean up a little,' he laughs. 'We kept buying exciting things and started to run out of room in the store. Luckily, I was offered this space just across from it.'
The new 220 sq m showroom means he has been able to stretch his selection of furniture and objects, bringing in labels such as Dresden-based LED-light company Holy Trinity, Austrian heritage brand Carl Auböck, and the Italian linen label Society Limonta, as well as exclusive projects with luxury Greek bed producer Coco-Mat and designer Christian Haas, which will be revealed in the autumn. There is also a new exhibition space that will present collections by the likes of Ettore Sottsass and David Chipperfield. Determined to offer a complete service, Murkudis has even enlisted designers, architects and artists to help his clients to lay out their homes.
As originally featured in the September 2015 edition of Wallpaper* (W*198)