Elisabet Sundin Architecture
Project finish 2019
Elisabet Sundin Architects
When arriving to this apartment on Sonnenallee in Berlin-Neukölln, the first thing was to see what was above the suspended ceiling. To our great luck we found a whole metre of extra ceiling height in the hallway, and around 60 cm in the bigger rooms toward the street, which gave a new ceiling height of 3.80 m all over the apartment.
Such amazing ceiling height needs a big room, hence the decision to both demolish the wall between the two rooms toward the street plus opening up the structural wall towards the hallway.
This building from year 1903 was partly demolished by a bomb in WWII and was not renovated until the 70’s. This is probably when many of the metal details, such as door frames and reinforcements, were added. When removing
the wall between the living rooms we found a 50 cm high reinforcement beam, supporting the courtyard entrance underneath, which was still protruding around 15 cm after removing the wall. This led to the decision to elevate the whole kitchen area on a podium, a decision we are very happy with today.
One of the biggest challenges during the renovation was the removal of the structural wall where we worked with the structural engineer Hoppe Planung- und Statik-Büro and added a huge 40x50 cm beam with a supporting Ø108 mm beam in the middle. These elements gave the inspiration for an industrial look, and we started peeling off all those layers of colour on all metal details we could find.
The overall theme for the apartment is very light, with white walls and white-washed wooden floors, which, together with the enormous widows towards the street, gives an impressive space and openness to the rooms. To further emphasise the raw look, we worked with black details on the interior, such as; kitchen modules, plugs, lamps,
light switches etc.
The kitchen top is a beautiful Serpentinit (something in between marble and limestone) called Rainforest green, cut and installed by the local stone-firm Steinzeit down the road.
The beautiful “greige” drapery in the hallway is professionally tailored and mounted by Berlin based Unique Factory.
To optically enlarge the relatively small bathroom, we used big 50x50 cm tiles in a warm grey tone with quite a bit of structure. These were sophistically matched up with black appliances and elegant built-in mirror and glass wall to the shower. To save some floor height we used an electrical underfloor heating mat under the floor tiles, which is controlled by a thermostat on the wall.
Furthermore the apartment has a large balcony to the street, which we painted in the same soft yellow of the house together with a grey floor. On the wall we mounted two beautiful Sherlock lamps from Roger Pradier in forest green.