21. February 2012–
The top facade is exposed, next door’s getting a needed make-over, and down below – looking in, people are working away in what appears to be a bank. The old Dresdner bank in fact, minus the queues, the cash, and the counter-people.
And so begins a tour into Monoqi’s office which has evolved from the dark days of Heinrich Himmler’s “bank of choice”, into an edgy retro working space. It somewhat encapsulates the bleak bygone times cum creative-tech-forward days of Berlin, and design e-commerce site Monoqi is in the crux of it. Inside, CEO Simon Fabich walks us through this Stasi-decor bank with its line of counters and emergency buttons, the old vault room as their new meeting room, and all the 1980’s finishing touches of (deceptively) fake plants scattered here and there.
Where: Mollstrasse 1, Mitte. Across the road from Soho House
Who: Your everyday “dress as you like we’re a startup” hoodie-meets-suit types
Feels like: A 1980’s conference room with its strip fluorescent lighting and fake plants
What they’re drinking: Percolated coffee
What they’re sitting on: Old-school staff-room-like chairs in forest green
On the counter: A screen with a live number display of people signing up to Monoqi
Tempted to: Press one of the big red emergency buttons from under the bank counter… just to see what happens
What’s missing: Money in the vaults
Energy: Ready to invigorate the space
Humorous touch: A bottle of water on the floor next to a giant fake plant
Visitors could: Cartwheel across the vast carpet space.. there’s so much room!
Out the window: Business people passing by and looking in at this strange setting