Sapphire

Berlin / Germany / 2016

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35 Love 4,611 Visits Published

Daniel Libeskind is developing his first apartment building in Germany on Chausseestrasse in Berlin, just metres from where the Berlin Wall used to run. “Sapphire” bears the corners and edges characteristic of Libeskind's work, making the body of the building resemble a cut gem, a sapphire. The project, which will create a total of 73 apartments, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016.


Libeskind's choice of name actually points beyond the crystalline structure of his building. For it is simultaneously a loving allegory on the present state of Berlin. “It's all about its holistic character: the light of the sapphire, and simultaneously its softness. But a sapphire is also rough, it is hard, it is durable, it is rugged, it is resilient due to the very nature of its material. All of these are character traits shared by Berlin itself and its residents,” the architect said on occasion of an interview in which he presented his project for the first time.


Realisation of the building has been entrusted to two local contractors, Rainer Bahr and Holger Rausch. “We are delighted to have won Libeskind as architect for our project,” said Holger Rausch. “The close proximity of the BND compound implies special challenges for the corner plot. However, we did not want to have to compromise in such a prominent location in Berlin-Mitte, but sought to create a building of uncompromising beauty.” Rainer Bahr added: “Physically speaking, we are closing a gap site. Historically speaking, we are bridging a 60-year period during which no residential architecture of international renown was created in Berlin.”


November 11th, the sales drive for the condominiums was kicking off at Soho House New York, around 6,500 kilometres from the building plot. “We are thereby bridging the distance between the centre of the architect's professional and private life and the location of his current pet project,” said Nikolaus Ziegert, whose company was asked to handle the marketing end. At the same time, three scale models of the Libeskind project will be presented at the KaDeWe department store in Berlin. Ziegert clearly assumes that the apartments at the Sapphire will meet with serious international interest: “But I find it just as easy to imagine that many Berliners will seize the opportunity to acquire a condo designed by Daniel Libeskind.”


Each of the apartments of two to four bedrooms at the Sapphire is one of a kind. The 73 apartments measure between 36 and 169 square metres in size, and at least one wall in each of them displays Libeskind's sculptural style of construction. The high-end standards defining the interior, including solid wood parquet floor, underfloor heating, plaster finish walls painted in white, and architectural concrete ceilings, are supplemented by exclusive details. Upon request, a fitted kitchenette in the unmistakeable signature design of Daniel Libeskind will be installed. Featuring at least one patio, loggia or balcony each, the apartments offer a wide variety of options for a bespoke Berlin experience. And breath-taking apartments and penthouses are complemented by common-part areas on the roof top, by a courtyard with open spaces and a facility for sports and other activities.


Libeskind places a premium on the environmental sustainability of his project. Most notably, the conspicuously shimmering ceramic façade will improve the carbon scorecard of the building. “This sort of tile has never been produced before, and is entirely environmentally friendly. It helps the building to balance its carbon footprint. What makes the new material special is not just its self-cleaning effect but also the fact that it produces oxygen by converting carbon dioxide.” Moreover, tiles are a highly durable material. So far, no signs of wear or erosion have been demonstrated at all for the ceramic titanium material used by Libeskind.


 

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    Daniel Libeskind is developing his first apartment building in Germany on Chausseestrasse in Berlin, just metres from where the Berlin Wall used to run. “Sapphire” bears the corners and edges characteristic of Libeskind's work, making the body of the building resemble a cut gem, a sapphire. The project, which will create a total of 73 apartments, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016. Libeskind's choice of name actually points beyond the crystalline structure of his...

    Project details
    • Year 2016
    • Work finished in 2016
    • Status Current works
    • Type Multi-family residence
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