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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.