Apartment Renovation. Berlin, Germany
Budget 80'000 €
The Three Doors apartment challenges the rigidity of old structures to bring playfulness and brighten the grey winter days of the German capital.
In a historical building facing the Landwehr canal in the heart of Berlin, the flat is oriented north-south with an atypically deep floor plan. The client’s goal was to bring more light into the deep floor plate, especially on the north facade facing at the canal. The resulting design challenges the outdated apartment organization, leaving the main building's structure with its bearing wall untouched. The apartment’s pre-war-era organization was broken up to allow for fluid circulation. Modifications to the non-structural walls free the apartment’s plan and single rooms are rediscovered as a succession of spaces, each enjoying double the amount of windows.
Three doors create openings in the structural wall, imbuing essential playfulness to the project. Light now travels unobstructed through the different spaces. Natural light also enters the bathroom through a series of glass-block insertions in the wall. Thousands of colored reflections reach the entrance hall when the sun shines through.
Two “boxes" are placed on either side of the structural wall: on one side the bathroom combined with the kitchen, on the other side a walk-in closet combined with the bed, together containing all necessary services and storage.
The material concept is simplified, abstracted. Select hand-picked materials adorn the “boxes", carrying the soul of the project: the reclaimed GDR-era glass blocks were carefully sourced one by one at markets for historical building parts while the bathroom’s Moroccan mosaic tiles match the light green of the wardrobe and bookshelf.
The project exemplifies our body of work, where our first aim is to challenge staid spatial organizations, imbuing living spaces with new experiences and using furniture to generate space.