Designer Spotlight: The Michelberger Studio
Ever since I visited The Michelberger Hotel in June, I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s a special place, a true creative retreat, filled
with constant inspiration. It’s very much alive, constantly changing but never following trend. It is the opposite of trying too hard and
the epitome of having fun. Hidden inside of this East Berlin hotel is The Michelberger Studio, which houses the creatives behind this
In 2009, Azar Kazimir left his advertising life and met Tom Michelberger and Nadine May, helping them concept and bring to life their
dream hotel, The Michelberger. After six months of building a hotel for creative people, they decided to establish a more creative part
of the business, so Kazimir became creative director of the first inhouse hotel design studio (that they knew of).
The Michelberger Studio is made up of two graphic designers, one interior designer, one fashion designer, and one part-time web
developer, all led by Kazimir (who also works as a graphic designer). They’re totally integrated into the hotel, taking care of all of its creative
needs, and more importantly, making sure the hotel is consistently an inspiring and engaging environment for their guests. They
inject their passion, playful energy, and creative minds throughout The Michelberger, giving tourists an adventure in the hotel itself,
each detail uncovering a captivating treat they are dying to share with the world. A bar menu can take up to a month to draw because
all of their work is done by hand. Inside the matches for the bar you’ll find a detailed illustration of their Cosy room, the matches asleep in
the bed, and their wallpaper patterns are created with hand drawings of their favorite things (pretzels, sneakers, and cassette tapes, to name a few).
Besides the interior, it’s hard to even begin to explain all of the projects they’ve touched. Their work is created entirely in-house and is therefore
extremely varied, ranging from the hotel’s spin-off projects, like the Fountain of Youth, their mind-blowingly delicious coconut water brand, and the
Michelberger Booze Company. They also do everything from web design, to creating posters for their concerts, to product and packaging design,
to their newest endeavor, a small fashion collection for the hotel inspired by backyard botany (which is not a class at Hogwarts).
While the hotel comes first, they like to support their friends’ and guests’ creative ventures in their spare time, who luckily have the coolest projects
ever to share. The studio has directed a promo for The National, created record artwork for Soul Clap and Wolf & Lamb, and collaborated
with Mikkeller, creating the beer the Mikkellerberger with Keith Shore, to name a few of their outside projects, which they note “come about in an
organic, non-strategical way, strictly from personal relationships.” They never do work for people but rather with people, and those people have
to be friends.
Yes, I am clearly obsessed with The Michelberger Hotel and have fond memories of eating halloumi kebab buzzed in bed while catching parts
of The Big Lebowski, which they play on loop. But what really stuck with me was how creative and fun it made me feel. I wanted to explore the city
and come back and write about it. I wanted to meet other creative people staying there. It inspired me to do better and create better things because you are in a world that feels modern and eclectic and makes you think outside of the box while still making you feel at home.
If you’re in Berlin, stop by room 132 and say hello to the studio. But be forewarned, you may fall under its magical spell and never leave.