Old buildings have a special something that you can’t quite get when building a new house, a special atmosphere which makes the whole property look and feel mysterious and full of charm. Some architectural and design features are worth preserving when dealing with such a space. But which ones and how will they blend in with all the new additions. These are some of the challenges encountered by asdfg Architekten when they had to remodel this old structure in Berlin.
The building is old and dates back to the 19th centuryBoth the interior and exterior of the structure were in bad shape before the project startedBecause it’s a heritage protected building, certain limitations were applied for the renovation
The project’s name is MullerhausMetzerstrasse and the house is located in Berlin, Germany. Its renovation was completed in 2016. Before that, the structure served as a police station and a workshop and for many years it remained empty and unused. It was in bad shape and the interior was organized into many small rooms which didn’t really suit the modern needs of the new owners.
The new design keeps the history of the building alive while gently introducing it into the contemporary worldSome of the original design elements were preserved and integrated into the new lookThe interior walls were exposed to reveal the bricks
Because the building is a heritage structure, the authorities imposed some rules regarding the exterior design. They requested that the facade look like in a drawing from 1844, the goal being to preserve its history and to restore its former beauty. The architects chose to interpret some of the lines in the drawing in an attempt to also give the building a more original look.
The furniture throughout is simple and modern and the colors are light and mostly neutralThe staircase offers two access points, both of which lead to the upper levelThe double-height social area is bright and impressive but at the same time very inviting
A consens was reached and everyone agreed to show the history of the building and to restore its beauty without the need to make the facade look as if it’s really 170 years old. In order to manage that, the architects used ancient techniques and materials and turned this 19th century ruin into a wonderful single family home.
The kitchen is open and adjacent to the staircaseThe kitchen furniture combines white and natural wood for an elegant contrast
The architects made the most of all exposed brick walls, turning them into focal points
Because the initial floor plan was not meant to suit a family home and most of the rooms were very small, the interior walls were demolished. All except for one were removed, leaving the house empty and with a large divider in the middle. Obviously all the outer walls had to be preserved without the possibility to modify or add.
A series of open storage and display spaces were chosen in favor or the closed cabinetryThe interior design throughout is casual and welcoming, beautifully blending old and newThe dining area occupies a corner space, being close to the windows and the brick walls
The ground floor became a social area with a double-height space and a staircase that connects it to the upper level. Here, the kitchen, dining and lounge areas share an open floor plan and lots of windows. A nice detail is the fact the bricks on the walls were exposed and included in the new interior design. The staircase and the kitchen interior were designed using the wood from the old ceiling beams.
The two tiers of windows let in lots of natural light, allowing the house to feel bright and airyThe upper level houses an open home office space with a desk and low storage unitsThere’s this very relaxed and casual charm throughout the house, a result of the combination of styles
On the first floor, the private spaces and a gallery area were placed. The parents’ bedroom and the gallery are divided by a large sliding door. There’s this open area which resembles a home office except that it lacks the privacy and formality of such a room.
Some of the features and furnishings were custom made for this projectThe washbasins in the bathrooms were specially designed for the house
A lot of special and unique design elements were included in the house. For example, the bathrooms have washbasins which were custom-designed for this particular project. The bathtub is also a custom creation designed by the architects to perfectly fit the space and the style of the house.
The bathroom maintains a simple and eclectic look which matches the rest of the decorA large window panel connects the bathroom to the rest of the house, letting light in