Visitors to the area between BIKINI BERLIN and the Zoo Palast cinema can now enjoy a breath of fresh air. The reason for this is the arrival of three CityTrees by Green City Solutions (GCS), which will be providing the City West with clean air for three whole weeks. CityTrees are patented bio-tech air filters that double up as seating. These vertical plant walls with special moss cultures feed on dirty air and therefore absorb harmful pollutants like particulate matter. As part of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 innovation scheme, the company, which is based in Bestensee and Berlin, will be installing its new products at several locations throughout the German capital. 


The focus is on busy city hubs that have an increased amount of fine dust and therefore offer the perfect conditions for the hard-working moss cultures. These moss species bind, absorb and filter up to 80% of fine dust, therefore alleviating the surrounding air pollution. Thanks to an intelligent ventilation system, one CityTree has been proven to filter the breathing air of approx. 7,000 people per hour. And to help people make the most out of them, the vertical moss walls are surrounded by hexagonal benches that invite passers-by to take a seat. As mosses store and evaporate moisture due to their vast surface area, the CityTrees also provide a noticeable cooling effect. To ensure the optimum water supply for the moss, it is watered by a fully automatic irrigation system. GCS have managed to reduce the energy consumption of the bio-tech filters in front of BIKINI BERLIN by over 90 percent compared to their predecessor model. “BIKINI BERLIN is a unique pilot project for us in the city. To increase the air quality and quality of life, our new CityTrees are being installed at a total of eight locations. In cooperation with scientific partners, we hope to further validate the impact of our product on the environment,” says Peter Sänger, co-founder of GCS.  

Throughout Germany, BIKINI BERLIN is regarded as a pioneer of innovation. Ever since it opened, the concept shopping mall, which is LEED Gold Certified, has been leading by example. The LEED model is an internationally recognised certification system that stands for ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’. 

“One of the reasons BIKINI BERLIN received the certification is because of its sustainable architecture. Right from the outset, our focus during the development of the concept shopping mall and the Kantini food market has been on sustainability. So it’s only natural that we are delighted to be part of such an important, urban pilot project with Green City Solutions,” is how Antje Leinemann, Managing Director of BIKINI BERLIN, explains the background behind the cooperation.  


Thanks to reflective windows to protect from sunlight, a large rooftop terrace front and a loggia, each with windows for ventilation, there is no need for any further air conditioning in Kantini or the entire BIKINI BERLIN concept shopping mall. 

And in the design of the furniture for the Kantini food market, BIKINI BERLIN and design studio Aisslinger made sure to use recyclable raw materials that are robust and durable like wood and metal. The use of plastic tableware and cutlery is also completely avoided.