Originally built in the 1930’s, Das Stue’s diplomatic legacy is evident in the heritage building’s stately architecture and modernist façade, designed by German architect Johann Emil Schaudt (1871-1957) and inspired by Danish classicism. Located in Berlin’s diplomatic quarter, Das Stue was renovated to invoke a calming ambiance, with open spaces and contemporary minimalist design. The Potsdam-based firm Axthelm Architekten added a new wing on the building’s former back courtyard, which is clad in a floral patterned photo concrete surface acting as an elegant counterbalance to the rough dressed stone of the main building.
While Patricia Urquiola artistically directed and designed all public spaces and fluidly integrated shared spaces such as the lobby, cocktail bar and restaurants, LVG ARQUITECTURA finalized the interior room and suite design. Das Stue’s daylight spa, which opens its doors to the courtyard when the first rays of sunlight emerge, offers three treatment rooms, an indoor swimming pool, as well as a glass sauna and gym. In addition to the wellness center, two intimate library lounges offer guests a private and elegant retreat to relax.
Each of the 80 guestrooms is outfitted in subdued modern decor that emphasizes polished surfaces and rich fabrics. The rooms are designed to recall the open spaces of villa environments, complemented by high ceilings, hardwood floors and views of the adjacent Tiergarten; 11 rooms feature terraces and balconies.
This project involved the design of alterations and addition to an existing Edwardian house of some historical significance which is located in an area with a Heritage overlay. The brief for the house revolved around accommodating a family, including 3 children. The proposal included 3 new bedrooms and activity space to the new first floor at the rear and a large family /kitchen area directly below. The existing house included a new master bedroom / ensuite, study and the maintenance of the original grand dining room and lounge areas. The idea of the house was organised around finding a compatible but distinctive relationship between the existing interior and the new addition and the existing external form and the new addition. This was achieved through the use of a common materiality contrasting black brick for the new against red brick in the old. The pitched external roof forms, a requirement of stringent Heritage guidelines, were expressed as “twin peaked” gable ends that aligned directly with the with the double valley hip roof of the existing house. The external timber clad rainscreen is defined as a one third proportion that aligns directly with the existing slate tiled roof of the existing house. While compatible in terms of proportion and alignment the reductive abstraction of the new exterior and interior, suggests a new relationship to both the immediate garden and the greater surrounding context. Internally the new addition uses white painted timber lining boards and exposed internal black work to define a new family living space. The use of materials normally associated with the exterior of a Heritage house suggests an inversion of our normal reading of an interior that is both surprising and yet reassuring in terms of its familiarity.
Twin Peaks House, by Jackson Clements Burrows, Photography by Shannon McGrath
A carefully considered response to a very steep site with understated ‘mute’, gently sloping, roughly rendered walls and a curved concrete roof. Celebrating modern Australian family life, a generosity of space without ostentation that is practical and serviceable.
Yarra House, by Leeton Pointon Architects, in association with Susi Leeton Architects, Photography © Peter Bennets
The space, in its raw form, was long, hollow, and had high ceilings. Arthur Casas built out the shop and used it’s length to his advantage. The architect deisnged a long hallway, where the walls are angled and lined with a high gloss white plastic, black mirror, and vertical slats of raw wood. Wine bottles are held in the wall by cut-out holes, just big enough for the bottle shaft. With each label facing upward, Mistral’s store guests can walk through the shop and easily view the products. The long hallway leads into the bar area, where the wall materials from the wine display area continue. The space is modern, yet warm and approachable; making it a great spot to grab some friends and enjoy a wine tasting.
Shanghai-based architects Neri&Hu recently completed a 250 square-meter private residence in a high rise tower in the heart of Singapore. The client’s mandate was simple: “Give me three bedrooms and a project that will challenge the conventional notion of what a flat should be.” Rising up to this challenge, Neri&Hu initiated the project by questioning the fundamentals of the “house” typology itself, asking themselves: How can we free up the plan and make it feel light and loft-like? What is the relationship between the communal and private? When and how should privacy be maintained, if at all? What are the essential and non-essential program components that make a “home”? What is domesticity?
The resulting parti breaks though all conventions of the standard apartment layout by placing the rooms away from the building edge, reserving a continuous corridor along the entire perimeter. Rather than enter into the center and then radiate outwards towards individual rooms, a configuration often taken for granted as the ideal condition in high rise residences, here, the private zone forms the core of the space, while the public circulation zone envelops and ties everything together. The strategic insertion of three free floating volumes, clad in wood, stone, and copper, adds to the depth of the spatial layers, enclosing within them the most private and intimate rooms of all–the study and the two bathrooms. The remaining space is kept transparent, pushing the boundaries of how open and extroverted a room can be, while still maintaining privacy. The project rejects the parcelization of spaces found typically in apartment layouts, creating an openness and expansiveness that is more conducive to the contemporary lifestyle.
Wu Residence, Singapore, by Neri&Hu, Photography by Pedro Pegenaute
This flat was originally the atelier of the painting school, a spacious room with a lot of light, surrounded by a corridor with several serving rooms. In the 1920s two conventional flats were built in.
We stripped everything back to the original structure, looking for space and light and interpreted the corridor and the additional rooms as one entity with the atelier, by enlarging the original door openings into proper wider gaps. So in the end there was just one big space, with the necessary remaining fragments of the original supporting wall. These slices of walls we are the semen out of which we created the 5 sculptures, new objects playing and generating different living situations. Each sculpture can unfold by sliding room high, partly soundproof elements.
Different room situations occur, when the sculptures touch each other. The flat can be used as a loft or, great for a family, as a 4 bedroom flat. By creating sculptures rather than rooms (the bath is an open stone sculpture, which can be separated by a fine glass membrane) the maximum amount of space is available and usable the whole day. the sleeping room is like the bath room part of the living room, but can be separated from it by a large sound proof sliding door (part of the kitchen sculpture).
The 5 sculptures give light to the whole place through indirect in built light gaps and become a lively part of this world and not just periphery furniture. Those light gaps indicate the trace of the old supporting wall, the semen and the freshly grown sculpture. They are witness of time and the progress of our perception of living. We impose various programs on the sculptures, which influence the materialization. So holds a stone the bath and shower, the y shaped cupboard sculpture creates a new room by touching this stone, in the same time cuts the ceiling and exposes its inner skeleton and the kitchen is a flying cube, telling of the original spacious structure. The sculptures write their own script.
5sculptures, Zürich, Switzerland, by Gus Wüstemann, Photography by Bruno Helbling
Located in a quiet street in the Chamberi neighborhood of Madrid, the Orfila flat is a gut renovation intervened within a historic 19th century apartment building. The original 200 sq. meter flat contained a winding maze of rooms which were gutted to design a structural framework allowing for an open plan which brings together various domestic programs including sleeping quarters, office, living space, open shower, kitchen and terrace.
The project materials are addressed simply using naturally treated Macael marble throughout the flat and Dinesen hardwood floors in the bedrooms. The massive nature of the marble surface offers a continuous artificial landscape that fuses washrooms and public spaces into one.
Vertical openings were enlarged through structural means as much as possible and a terrace was extended beyond the existing limits of the property to maximize natural light.
5th Avenue Apartment, New York, by Thomas Phifer and Partners
Brandimage and Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance have designed the new Air France business lounge at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport. This lounge has been conceived as a harmonious pathway, consisting of sections which are conducive to walking acting as a prelude to the journey ahead. The architectural concept was inspired by a park and developed around a contemporary reinterpretation of the plant expression. Shapes, materials and colours conjure up nature and the organic world. The paths are organised and give structure to the lounge like offshoots of a plant: taut lines and curved shapes go hand in hand with the vision and retain privacy without partitioning. This upmarket lounge, which is over 3,000 m2, is situated in the new S4 boarding satellite at Paris-Charles de Gaulle.