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Oliveda Flagship Store by DFROST, Berlin

Ulrich Schaarschmidt

Businessman Thomas Lommel’s skincare brand Oliveda has opened its first Flagship Store, designed by renowned Stuttgart agency DFROST, in Berlin’s Neue Schönhauser Strasse.

The holistic products sold here are the result of seven years of development and – via an intricate biotechnological process – innovatively feature the cell elixir of the olive tree in place of the water base found in most cosmetics.

While stars such as Charlize Theron, Madonna or Barbara Becker have long been fans of the products’ energising effect, in Germany these anti-aging and beauty products for body, skin and hair are still a well-kept secret, known to only a select few. But this situation is about to change completely – not least thanks to the opening in Berlin of the company’s first dedicated store anywhere in the world.


A concept sketch by Thomas Lommel served as the brief for the retail identity experts. He wanted the brand values to be optimally transferred to the space, design and materials, transporting The Olive Tree Pharmacy into the here and now with a modern, Mediterranean look. The team around DRFOST Managing Directors and co-founders Nadine Frommer and Christoph Stelzer had just 24 square metres of space at their disposal but they made the very best use of it. The new store is approachable, bright and inviting. Its unfussy design language and natural, high quality materials appeal equally to both men and women.


Like the products themselves, their presentation is in keeping with the credo “less is more – but the less must be implemented in the most powerful way possible.” Accordingly, DFROST set great store by preserving the existing historic elements and teasing out details during the course of refurbishment. The brick walls, for example, were restored to their original condition and simply whitewashed. The floor is now made of sealed cement which, in combination with the walls and ceiling, accentuates the brand’s Mediterranean roots. A further highlight that was revealed to the agency while it was gutting the premises is the wall panelling in the area of the shop window. Now painted white, it is both reminiscent of and a homage to the present store’s former facade.


It is precisely in their simplicity that the interior elements reveal their perfection, allowing customers to enjoy a unique brand experience and immerse themselves fully in the world of Oliveda. Above and beyond that, the rigorous brand architecture guarantees absolute uniqueness and high recognition value. To give an example, DFROST designed a floor-to-ceiling apothecary cabinet of black-painted wood to catch the eye and serve as the central element of the store.

Carefully arranged on its shelves and drawers are the Oliveda range’s beautifully simple brown glass flacons and jars, which, with their discreet black-and-white labels, more closely resemble choice, antique tinctures and elixirs rather than the very latest high-tech natural cosmetics. A brass ladder which slides along a rail brings even those products placed close to the ceiling into easy reach. The product presentation of the entire range emphasises the pharmacy character.


For the perfect product touch & feel experience, all beauty elixirs can be sampled in front of the apothecary cabinet at a free-standing monolithic counter with integrated washbasin. The counter is crafted of black solid surface material with olive wood trim, presenting the customer with a striking yet quietly minimalistic setting of sensual materials that are warmly and harmoniously illuminated by various hand-crafted, hanging lamps made of brown glass. On the right-hand side, the store is ornamented with an outsize back-lit illustration by Italian artist Michele Tranquillini. This not only attracts attention but also conveys the history of Oliveda in a simple yet highly effective way. Opposite, with the same shape and as a companion piece to the sketch, is a product shelf unit that displays the brand’s best-selling products in the best possible light.


DFROST precisely matched the green shade of the olive-shaped glass unit with the colour of the Oliveda cell elixir. “We wanted to create something lasting. A space that provides information and orientation but also, first and foremost, touches the senses and arouses the emotions. A space in which everything is just right because it is authentic in every way and is thus able to grow together with its environment,” say Nadine Frommer and Christoph Stelzer, explaining their approach.

The retail experts from DFROST have certainly demonstrated a fine feel for the brand DNA and today’s zeitgeist. Without a doubt, purchasing these beauty and health elixirs whose glow is fully apparent on the skin after just a few days of holistic application is a doubled pleasure in such a naturally inspiring ambience.


all images © Ulrich Schaarschmidt