The amazing room miracle in wild Wedding must be seen as a fusion of living gallery, concept store and event space all in one. "I think of myself as a curator," says Chris Glass. "I curate spaces, communities and moments." What he values most of all is sharing among people. That is why aptm hosts event such as parties, photo shoots and workshops. "I want my guests to feel as if a good friend with a superb sense of interior design has given them the key to his apartment and invited them to throw a dinner party." How we would love to be a dinner guest too!
Interior designer, individualist, self–starter: Chris Glass has a flair for the unusual – and the courage to bet everything on a single card. His latest coup is aptm, an unique living gallery in Berlin. In an interview with Avoury's editorial staff, he speaks about what it means to take a plunge into the unknown.
We leave the rough Berlin district of Wedding with its colourfully sprayed tenements outside, getting off the wet street to enter an old factory that is reaching towards the skies; three storeys, old-fashioned windows. Nothing special. Nothing to suggest the impressive space that waits a few steps above us: a loft furnished like a private apartment. And not just any old apartment – 230 square meters of lifestyle in a class of its own, a showroom for hand-picked art, interior design and accessories. It's a space that compels you to pause and marvel, a work of art in itself – a space that goes by the humble name of "aptm". This is short for a place to meet.
Chris Glass brings special pieces from around the world to this place and combine them in an entirely new way. If you’re expecting the latest trends, you'll be disappointed: "aptm is inspired by my personal style – my way of staging objects, telling stories and celebrating ideas. What matters to me is not fashions and trends, but my individual experiences." We see straight away that Chris Glass is not just a founder – he is an artist.
For Chris Glass, these ideas come from all over the world: "Travelling is my source of inspiration. If I stay in one place too long, I start to feel suffocated. Travelling is my salvation – and my university of life. It not only gives me insights into different cultures, it also teaches me what it means to be human. The places I visit and the experiences I collect there – that’s what shapes me, what makes me who I am." Along his travels, the tea cultures around the globe have aroused his curiosity. He is fascinated by the different ways in which tea is celebrated. Chris Glass has had some very special tea experiences – from high tea at Harrods in London to Turkish tea on a Bosphorus ferry in Istanbul. He prefers tea to coffee: "With tea I do something good for myself. It helps me calm down and think in peace."
We realise that Chris Glass’ attitude of being cosmopolitan, letting go of any fear of contact and being open to new ideas is something that can be learned. But being born with a creative streak does help. Chris Glass’ passion for art, interiors and design has deep roots. His father was a florist, his mother runs a catering service and collects art, and even his grandparents had a weakness for antiques. "Even as a child, I constantly redesigned my bedroom. I always had new stories to tell that I wanted to share with other people. My crayons fascinated me and I always wanted to play with the different colours." Today, aptm offers him the ideal stage to bring his ideas to life. "Deep down, I have a longing for beauty and harmony. Essentially, it’s always about trying new things, it’s so exciting to me, it’s a downright pleasure."
Chris Glass is a phenomenon, a rarity. With aptm, he has created a place that sets new standards and gives the art and design circles something to talk about – way beyond Berlin. We look forward in anticipation to future installations, ideas and projects. "There is a time and place for everything," says Chris Glass. You just have to take the plunge.