IFUB transforms former chocolate factory into office with secret storage
Munich architecture firm IFUB has converted the ground floor of a Berlin factory into an open-plan office with a wall of hidden cupboards and rooms (+ slideshow).
The practice focused on preserving the structure's historic elements, and taking it back to its original design by removing some of the more recent additions.
The lobby of the building and the office area are separated by a wall of storage, which features cupboards arranged along a distinctive scalloped pattern.
The section also hides a small kitchenette and toilet, and doors can be opened to function as windows through to the hallway.
The building is located in the city's Neukölln district and was built in 1870 – making it one of the oldest commercial buildings in the neighbourhood.
From 1926 to 1973 the factory made chocolate before being converted into a block of flats and undergoing a number of subsequent renovations.
As part of its refurbishment, IFUB sand-blasted the vaulted ceiling to reveal the original brickwork, and restored the brick flooring. Power and internet is supplied to each workstation through hanging steel cranes – which avoided the studio having to take up and destroy the original floor.
IFUB chose single exposed light bulbs and placed them at either end of the cranes, to further highlight the ceiling.
Meeting rooms are sectioned off by black-framed glass, and the studio selected white and green floor tiles to complement the building's existing materials.
The studio also overhauled a small apartment in the building, adjacent to the office. More storage space conceals an extra bathroom, as well as providing room for an additional kitchenette.
Pinewood flooring and brightly coloured furniture was added to create a "homely" atmosphere.
The office is inhabited by online card game company Sauspiel, which plans to use the apartment as a separate flat for guests as well as an additional meeting room.
IFUB previously refurbished a 1930s apartment in Vienna, uncovering original details and pairing them with contemporary lighting and design.
Other office conversions covered by Dezeen include a corset factory turned into a workplace in Gothenberg, and a former Soviet-era factory transformed into a wood-filled office space complete with realistic trees.
Photography is by Julia Klug.