Daniel Libeskind designs metallic
apartment block for Berlin

| 28 comments

Daniel Libeskind designs metallic apartment block for Berlin's Chausseestrasse

News: architect Daniel Libeskind has unveiled plans to build an angular apartment block in Berlin that will feature a gleaming metallic facade.

Daniel Libeskind designs metallic apartment block for Berlin's Chausseestrasse

Daniel Libeskind, whose previous Berlin projects include the Jewish Museum, designed the eight-storey building for a corner plot on Chausseestrasse, in the Mitte district of Berlin.

Daniel Libeskind designs metallic apartment block for Berlin's Chausseestrasse

Set to complete in 2015, the building will accommodate shops at ground level and 73 residences on its upper storeys.

The facade will be clad using a specially developed stoneware tile with a reflective metallic coating, which the studio claims will be both self-cleaning and air-purifying.

Daniel Libeskind designs metallic apartment block for Berlin's Chausseestrasse

Large asymmetric windows will be added to maximise natural light within the building and parking will be located underground.

A penthouse apartment at the front will feature a double-height living room, as well as a roof terrace looking out across the city.

Daniel Libeskind designs metallic apartment block for Berlin's Chausseestrasse

Describing the building, Libeskind commented: "Even as my studio is often called upon to design skyscrapers these days, I continue to love to build homes, the basic unit of human life."

Here's a more detailed description from Studio Daniel Libeskind:


Daniel Libeskind returns to Berlin to build and apartment building in centre of city

Studio Daniel Libeskind has just unveiled the design for a residential building in Berlin that, upon completion in 2015, is expected to brighten the already emerging neighbourhood of Chausseestrasse. With large angular windows designed to catch maximum light, canted walls, and a metallic-­coated ceramic facade, the 107,000 sq. ft. (10,000 m2) Chausseestrasse 43 occupies the corner of a block in central Berlin. Says the architect: “Even as my studio is often called upon to design skyscrapers these days, I continue to love to build homes, the basic unit of human life.” In this case, Libeskind is adding a dash of brightness and transparency to a key spot in Berlin, one that also happens to be located directly opposite the headquarters of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service.

Daniel Libeskind's challenge was to create 73 desirable one-­ to four-bedroom apartments on a more or less rectangular plot a little less than half an acre (16,000 sq. ft.), accommodating attractive retail on the ground floor, underground parking, and a common outdoor area. The architect achieved this and more. The dramatic coda is found at the top, where a penthouse apartment, perched on the prow of the building, embodies the ultimate in inside/outside urban living. Here, a double-­height living room is lined on one side by a sloping wall of obliquely shaped windows, which leads out to a patio overlooking Berlin. A floating stairway ascends to an open-plan living area, bedrooms are tucked into the rear, and the ceiling sweeps up to a height of 21 feet.

The facade cladding is an innovative three­‐dimensional stoneware tile that Libeskind designed with the Italian company Casalgrande Padana. The geometric ceramic panels not only create an expressive metallic pattern, but they possess surprising sustainable properties such as air purification and they are self-­cleaning.

This cathedral for modern living occupies a piece of land where the Wulffersche iron factory once operated before being expropriated from its Jewish owners during World War II.

The Berlin-­based real estate developer, MINERVA, is handling the technical and economic implementation of Chausseestrasse 43 in partnership with the Berlin-based property developer, econcept. The 20­-year-old MINERVA specialises in real estate development for commercial and residential projects, such as the contemporary Alexander Parkside apartment and hotel complex that recently opened in Berlin. Econcept specialises in the construction of new residential buildings, such as the Palais KolleBelle, a new residential complex in Berlin inspired by the architecture of 19th-­century Paris.

  • mm

    Is it the Zaha Hadid Design for Hoxton mixed with a Delugan Meissl facade panelling? Actually straight forward for Berlin.

  • jeff

    As a Torontonian who has to endure the disgrace he put upon the ROM I am always amazed that he gets work. This new apartment building design is just as ugly as everything else he has done.

  • Achtung!

    - Take conventional apartment building.
    - Clad in superficial shapes.
    - Add meaningless diagonal lines.
    - Set AutoCAD’s “uglify” command to “maximum”.
    - Write some BS about “air purifying panels”.
    And VOILA! Instant Libeskind crap. Next project please!

  • DL1119

    This is so bad.

  • Dolf

    Not buying…

  • Loudon

    Hey Daniel! I have two questions:

    1) If you were so concerned about “maximising natural light”, how come the smallest windows are on the lowest floors which get the least daylight?

    2) How do you propose to put curtains or blinds on these windows?

  • Sanjit Kurmal

    This crystal/wedge nonsense was already looking ridiculous over a decade ago. How much longer can Daniel’s staff keep rehashing that one same lame idea and trying to convince themselves that they are creative designers?

  • Suzanne Chang

    Very inelegant, totally graceless and utterly banal. It’s like Libeskind did everything he could to eradicate all trace of humanity from this drab and depressing project. I’d hate to see what it will look like on a gray, sunless day.

  • not a fan

    Endless mediocrity…

  • vignola

    If Daniel Libeskind expects to be respected, he might first learn to show some degree of respect to the places where he accepts commissions. If instead he attracts only ridicule and contempt, it is because these are the characteristics which informed his design when he decided to impose this crass, arrogant, discordant, incoherent and laughable mess on a streetscape in Berlin. His mindless repetition of the same superficial and meaningless visual gimmicks does not deserve to be criticised within the context of an intelligent architectural discussion.

  • Berliner

    Please don’t!

  • locationlocationlocation

    With a nice view to the new secret service complex across the street…

  • Letarouilly

    Libeskind isn’t even trying. He just forces the same clumsy shapes and awkward forms onto every project regardless of whether they have any bearing on the program, the site or the local context.

  • Simon Gerssen

    Grey is not what Berlin needs. Great penthouse anyway.

  • Dmitri Z

    It’s like a project created by a kid who did a course in 3D rendering, but has zero understanding of architecture. There’s nothing to suggest any adults were involved in this naive and very adolescent attempt at design.

  • http://www.basabose.me/ Mr Basabose

    99% of people insulting this project would have KILLED to get this commission. I don’t understand this new trend of bashing any given architect who actually manages to get work and BUILD something.

    Comments on architecture-related websites these days are so depressing that one can think succeeding in architecture is not a good achievement in life.

    Cant we just stop this and refocus of the craft? Or is it just my wishful thinking?

    Oh well…

  • happycamper

    There are plenty of projects on Dezeen that receive positive comments – projects that are modest, respectful of context, well detailed and generous in their intentions. These qualities shine through in the projects that are successful – see todays post on the Rwandan school for a fine example.

    I completely agree with all the other posters on this Libeskind project – it’s banal and pointless and adds nothing to the cityscape of Berlin.

  • Brendan

    You are right. I would have KILLED to get this project, but I would have been EMBARRASSED to deliver the result that Libeskind dumped on Berlin. I would have examined the problem and creatively devised a result that was respectful of the program and context. Libeskind just cranked out the same old wedges and pointy crap. I doubt if he spent a whole minute studying the problem before he decided his pro-forma trapezoidal schlock was the way to go.

  • Sultony

    What a load of nonsense. The shapes and forms are not the embodiment of reason, but rather the failed attempt to ‘do something different for its own sake’.

  • Beer Lynn Er

    Don’t know why there is so much more hostility about this design than any other post modernist posting, do you? What the design does confirm, is that the KING has the same strategic outpost as always – at the top of the mountain. Twisting of 90 degree corner is a bit of fun.

  • David

    Boring. I could have done that in my sleep.

  • http://www.theidlearchitect.com/ The Idle Architect

    Command: stretch, enter; move mouse, enter, save – done.

    • Treehugger

      Ha! You forgot the bit about “cut and paste from other projects”, but otherwise I think you nailed this office’s superficial and intellectually barren approach.

  • Kraye D

    This is not architecture. It is just bad graphic design applied to the outside of a conventional slab building. It’s like nobody even tried to create a work of architecture.

    • Kenneth Smythe

      Are his clients architecturally blind? Daniel is totally lacking in poetic invention and his buildings reveal this.

  • Ornamentalist

    All the flashy renderings can’t hide the obvious fact that little or no thought went into the actual design of the building itself. Libeskind sketched out the first thing that came into his head. Predictably, it was a contorted wedge with meaningless diagonal lines added. After that, all the effort went into trying to make a non-existent idea look like more than it ever was.

  • Yaeger

    How do you go about making a building this bad? It is repellant, an open rejection of every single humanist idea or aesthetic value that runs through two millenia of accumulated architectural thought. It fails on every conceivable level. I’m sad that Berlin will be scarred by such careless, thoughtless work.

  • C. Fontana

    This kind of silly form-making might make sense for a roadside fast food restaurant or fairground ticket booth, but it is wholly inappropriate in an urban setting which requires an architect with a mature and refined level of design. Libeskind just doesn’t get that not so subtle distinction.