Loft Gleimstraße

Berlin, Germany
Architects
GRAFT
Location
Berlin, Germany
Year
2005

Unfolded Cocoon for an Open Mind – Roof Top Loft Design in Berlin

Living and Working, Openness and Intimacy; Flexibility has become the keyword in contemporary Loft Design. Unless the private areas are opened to the “public” or to private guests, the owner of a Loft lives in a hidden private world. Openness and fluid continuums integrating bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen become possible. Individuality today only depends on the dreams and the courage of the owners.

The Transformation of a roof on top of a typical 19th century building in one of the new hip areas for living in Berlin creates this new adventure of an atypical and very personal interior. One open Loft-like space is meant to stay open and be rarely furnished. All intimate spaces like bathrooms, restrooms as well as staircases, storage rooms and the entrances to the Loft are integrated and hidden in a sculptural Mega-Form instead. The dense central block and the endless surrounding space provide opposite contrasting qualities. In a second step the volume of the central sculpture is carved out and cut apart in order to connect its sheltering interior with the stage of daily life.

This generates a playground for numerous possible combinations of protecting “cave-like” and open “stage-like” atmospheres: A number of sliding walls allow subdivisions of the flow around the core. Bedrooms and adjacent bathrooms can be combined to “Suites” - Living in this environment can easily be balanced out from extroverted “Gallery” to introverted “Studio” Atmosphere.

The central kitchen becomes the heart of the home. Open fluidum and massive interior of the Mega-Sculpture intertwine and create an ambiguity tying both opponents together. All surfaces in the kitchen (including furniture, walls, floor and ceiling) as well as all surfaces of the core are covered with high quality concrete plaster. The kitchen seams to be carved out of a massive block.

All other spaces are dominated by sophisticated drywall technology. Beds, benches, sofas, walk in closets, shelves and library are integrated in a construction which is normally used only for walls. These wholes and cuts invite people to inhabit the forms that usually only surround us.

The Northern and the southern front of the layout are closed by a foldable window/door system. Both fronts can be opened completely. Thus the two 13m long balconies extend the interior on both sides and provide a spectacular panorama of the skyline of Berlin which can only be toped by the view from the roof garden.

Photos
Jan Bitter

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