“RESTORE THE ORIGINAL SPLENDOR.”
Adaptation of the interior of a 19th-century tenement house in the heart of Berlin’s Charlottenburg district.
Charlottenburg only became a district of Berlin in 1920. Previously, it functioned as a small town named so in 1705 in honor of the late Prussian princess Sophia Charlotte of Hanover, whose name still commemorates both the baroque palace, Schloss Charlottenburg, and the entire district.
Project Name -Apartment renovation in Berlin Charlottenburg
Studio Name -TAKK Studio Berlin
Project size– 140 m2
Completion date– 2020
Building Level – 0
Location– Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Photography– Olga Urbanek
For an adventurous tourist, the district is associated with the famous baroque and rococo palace, which is still a popular tourist attraction to this day, but for Berliners Charlottenburg is primarily a well-known and recognisable residential area with traditions dating back to the origins of the former town.
Initially settled by the bourgeoisie, it became the center of Berlin’s nightlife at the beginning of the 20th century with the famous Romanisches Cafe and its regulars such as Bertolt Brecht, Otto Dix, and Stefan Zweig. After the War, it remained in the sphere of British influence and managed to retain its artistic and entertainment character: it became the center of West Berlin with numerous bars and restaurants. After the reunification of Germany, somewhat overshadowed by the intensive development of Mitte, today it is considered a quiet and attractive residential district with numerous tenement houses that survived the turmoil of war and still remember the shape and character of the 19th-century metropolis.
This was also the style of the tenement house, where the renovated apartment is.
The apartment, which has been subjected to numerous “improvements” over the years, has lost its original character: suspended ceilings concealing stucco walls, partition walls, numerous layers of wallpaper, temporary repairs and solutions in the kitchen and bathroom left the apartment in a poor condition.
Agi Kuczyńska, an interior architect and designer, immediately noticed its potential and charm. Together with the new owners, she decided to restore the interior to its original splendor, by recreating a sense of space and stylish character paired with modern accents to give it a more contemporary look. The aim of a thorough renovation was to restore all the preserved architectural details decorating the interior. Unfortunately, during the renovation works, it was not possible to save the old parquet, which was too damaged, so the architect and new owners decided to use traditional oiled oak parquet to warm the interior and give it a natural character.
During a general renovation, it turned out that the entrance to the guests’ bathroom originally had the form of an arch, which the architect also decided to keep.
The adaptation of the interior was challenging, because the original space (currently 140 m2) of the apartment is only a part of the original pre-war area layout, which was about three times larger. The front, representative flat before the Second World War consisted of several large guest rooms, a living room, a room for servants, kitchen facilities, etc. After the post-war division, some rooms lost their function or were adapted chaotically and hastily. That is why one of the assumptions of the new adaptation, designed by Agi Kuczyńska, was the comprehensive reconstruction of the interior and giving it a meaningful function: the kitchen and dining room were moved to the largest room. In the place of the former kitchen there is now a private bathroom, the entrance to which is hidden in the built-in wardrobe in the owners’ bedroom, inaccessible and invisible to guests.