SEHW Architektur gave new life to an industrial building in Berlin’s Zehlendorf district. It had endured several moultings, before it shed its skin and was reused once more. Built in the 70s for business and production, it followed a functional purpose: Staff area on lower ground floor, naturally lit by the shape of the topography, a big hall for delivery with machine shop on the ground floor and offices on the first floor.
A clear grid with strong beams to keep the space free of any columns, exposed concrete without any visual requirements. The vacant house was stripped to its core, but the skinning with the rough concrete of the structure, the skylights, the staircase with its terrazzo tiles and, with an ironic wink, the flag polls in the front yard remained visible. Today the house is used for living.
On the ground floor a patio is placed between two living areas. A ceiling slab was removed to create a gallery between ground and first floor. A secondary suite was created where the former staff area was located. The exterior continues the play with plains, terraces, materiality and colours. A black gate, concrete, black gravel, timber decks.
Grasses and perennial plants flourishing in different colours, while a mighty stock of trees is shaping the character of the building as a black box in the greenery. The house came alive once more and has some more lives to live, some more skinning ahead. This really is something in our throw-away society. Photos: Philipp Obkircher;