David Kohn Architects has set up its headquarters in Berlin for the Munich property developer Euroboden. They show how to throw the mud of a Wilhelminian style floor while respecting the listed architecture.
Euroboden Berlin also supports architects with a certain reputation. After working with Jürgen Mayer H., Arno Brandlhuber, Andreas Hild, Peter Haimerl and Muck Petzet in recent years, he has increasingly recruited English planners: David Adjaye, David Chipperfield and now David Kohn Architects. Londoners were instructed to renovate the elevated ground floor of the historic "Eger Palace" in Berlin-Kreuzberg and turn it into an investor branch.
The bourgeois building was built in 1881 by a prosperous timber merchant as a private villa. In the elevated ground floor rooms, richly decorated with wooden fixtures and inlays, the retailer introduced its products to customers. The concept of David Kohn Architects builds on this historic mix of commercial and residential uses and revolves around the idea of "productive living."
Thus, the Euroboden Berlin office is conceived as a sequence of simple and representative spaces with flexible use. The Central Lounge during the day is an informal meeting place and lounge for employees and guests, but can also be used for exhibitions or parties, which extend to other venues as needed. Offices, kitchens and bathrooms naturally act as showrooms, in which Euroboden can demonstrate its attitude towards issues of detail and materiality.
The Wilhelminien interior classified has been carefully integrated into the concept. The spacious entrance welcomes visitors with its wood paneling, friezes and artistically painted ceilings. Unlike found ornaments and materiality, contemporary objects and furniture are chosen. Even the new wall painting in partially squeaky hues opposes something to the sometimes somewhat oppressive pump of historicism. At the same time, however, he reacts to the existing structure: the division of the walls into two different colored areas takes up the pattern of the panels at half-height and creates different moods from one room to the other .
Incidentally, the palace recalls an unusual story: during the construction of the municipal villa in 1881 overlooking the Landwehr Canal, the Eger family had cost 300 000 gold marks under construction – at that time not only one of the buildings Berlin's most expensive residential but also one of the most exceptional area marked by housing and quarters of officers. Although, at that time, there are only reports of rare new private buildings, the German construction newspaper of 1890 already pointed to the remarkable architecture of the house. According to the plans of the architects Knoblauch & Wex, the villa could accommodate two superimposed apartments of 17 rooms each. In the stairwell, visitors are still welcomed today with Carrara marble and marble stucco wall coverings. It is surprising to note that the interior despite the turbulent history of the Eger Palace remained intact: in the 1920s, taken over by a subsidiary of Siemens, it was expanded six floors and used as office building and premises commercial. Later, it was rebuilt several times – in 1954 for the garment workshop, 1974 for the dormitory workers and 1996 for the temporary accommodation of war refugees.
Also renovated by Euroboden: