Design evokes Germany’s powerful automotive culture
THE HARMAN EXPERIENCE STORE IN MUNICH IS BRINGING TOGETHER SPEED AND SOUND IN A UNIQUE WAY. Gensler designed the interior as the visualization of a sound wave that guides consumers from the front to the back of the store, offering a cadenced retail experience that revolves around the visualization and emotion of a sound wave articulated through both form and light.
Across a 33.5-m glass facade lies a modern, dynamic environment. Located in the city’s popular central retail shopping district, the space opened in late September. The location is the first experience store in Europe for HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
The store is designed to serve as a showcase for HARMAN’s audio solutions across all consumer and automotive categories. It highlights how the company’s heritage of craftsmanship merges with innovation and cutting-edge technology, in both the store design and the products on display.
Since opening its first flagship store in Shanghai in 2010, HARMAN has added such cosmopolitan locations as Tokyo, and New York City. With its deep automotive roots, Munich was a natural choice for the first European Experience Store. The very design of the store’s interior evokes Germany’s powerful automotive culture and identity.
“Our first HARMAN store in Europe transcends simple retail to a memorable visual and auditory experience center. It is a dynamic showcase for our family of brands including JBL, Harman Kardon, and AKG, and it will feature select cars from our automaker partners that include our in-dash technologies and sound systems,” says Michael Mauser, president, lifestyle audio at HARMAN.
HARMAN is a house of world-renowned audio brands, and this new space is in many ways a manifestation of that house, adds Ralph Santana, chief marketing officer at HARMAN.
“Flagship stores tell our story and enable us to take center stage to connect directly with consumers,” Santana adds. “This is an important step in the development and growth of our brands across Europe and we are delighted to welcome consumers to our Munich Experience Store.”
The space is designed to be entirely transformed for various events including lectures, small concerts, and parties. Fixtures can be moved, digital displays can be taken over, and color-changing LEDs in the ceiling can wash the space in colors to adapt to every need and mood.
Award-winning consumer products from JBL, Harman Kardon, and AKG including headphones, portable speakers, soundbars, and voice-controlled speakers are featured. HARMAN’s automotive audio business will also feature in the store with a rotating selection of vehicles equipped with state-of-the-art sound systems from its portfolio of automotive audio brands including Harman Kardon, JBL, Bang & Olufsen, and Bowers & Wilkins.
Pushing the experiential dimension even further, the Munich Experience Store will enable customers to interact not only with HARMAN’s products, but with regular musical events, celebrity appearances, and car launches in collaboration with automakers, and much more.
An additional luxury audio studio is also set to open in an adjacent space later this year. Audio enthusiasts will be able to enjoy and explore products from HARMAN’s exclusive luxury brands like Lexicon, Mark Levinson, and Revel, plus it will include a deluxe cinema featuring Dolby Atmos.