WDG Apartment renovation

WDG Apartment renovation

Rare Office
Berlin, Germany
Project Year
Manuela Conti

WDG Apartment renovation

Rare Office as Architects

Located in Friedrichshain, the building is an “Altbau” (pre-WWII residential building). As many of the Berliner buildings in the former East Berlin, it underwent the so called “emergency renovation” in the time from the WWII and right after the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

The apartment at the 2nd level of the building, facing the street, presented a typical Berliner floor-plan with all room revolving around an entrance corridor with no window.

The bathroom, introduced after the war, was built at the center of the unit and directly ventilated through the top portion of one of the 2 kitchen windows. The bottom portion of the same window was devoted to the storage. Two coal furnaces, in the bedroom and in the living room, functioned as heating system for the whole apartment.

The renovation aims to maximize space and light in the unit. All the old partition walls have been demolished to reorganize the floor plan. From the entrance door a newly conceived open space provide with kitchen area lets in as much light as possible from the windows facing the inner courtyard.

The bathroom was moved to the darkest corner of the unit, positioned on an elevated floor in which the technical systems and equipments are allocated. The bathroom can be accessed from both the living and the bedroom.

Some portions of the wall with the post war painting are left visible in the dining, as well as the ceiling of the living is left untouched. The brick wall signing the property limit at the entrance has been treated and revealed.

The original door, half sanded and finished with transparent lack, have been reused and converted to sliding doors. The coal furnace of the dining room is left untouched, due to the beauty of its ceramics and still being perfectly functioning.

Design and Construction of an elevator and of new balconies After the renovation of two apartments in the building, in 2013, RARE has been commissioned to design and build a new elevator and balconies for the facade facing the courtyard.

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