Discover Germany, Issue 33, December 2015

Page 83

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Page 83

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Architecture & Design

lows Uwe Licht to do his own planning even within the difficult field of fire prevention concepts. He opened his own office in Berlin in 2005. Every building that the raumwandler team tackles has its own individual history. This history is being incorporated in the concept and gives each project its own unique character. New elements are always added in context with the building‘s history and the characteristics of the surroundings. Projects by raumwandler architects include the restructuring and restoration of the former GDR government guest house, set in the park of Schönhausen castle in Berlin Pankow and the former castle of Schloss Güterfelde which, together with several outhouses and a listed ‘rammed earth’ building from the ‘50s, was converted into 36 apartments. While keeping the outer Neo-Renaissance style of the Güterfelde castle, the inside now features modern technical assets such as a lift, aesthetically embedded into the spiral staircase.The adjacent buildings present a clean-cut design, suggesting light and space, therefore accentuating the more decorative appearance of the castle itself.

cept of creating a unique living environment with a definitive link to the representational nature of the former US headquarters. Converted into 120 housing units and business suites, the area is set in West Berlin's green Dahlem borough. The original design dates back to the ‘30s and the complex was taken over as headquarters by the US army in 1945. The buildings’ lean, sculptural aesthetics have been preserved and have also inspired a new building which completes the redesign. Inhabiting a town house on such historical grounds seems like a picturesque everyday experience indeed.

As Uwe Licht states: when it comes to the restoration and conversion of listed buildings, the special appeal lies within the synergy of the old and the new. To find out about the individual historical context, the variations in construction – that is what makes each individual project unique, new and exciting.

Opposite: Gueterfelde Castle ©Terraplan Below: Metropolitan Gardens, Clayallee ©Archlab

Clients approaching raumwandler architects are investors who have acquired a historical or listed building, a purchase which automatically comes with a number of requirements and safety issues that need special attention. Firstly, a historical building structure requires a detailed technical analysis, executed by a skilled team of experts. In addition, the architectural divide between the old and the new needs to be mastered with an open and innovative mind so as to preserve and protect the original building and, at the same time, add the comfort nowadays living requires. In the case of the Metropolitan Gardens, this has been achieved by adding little details to the original structure such as extra balconies, terraces and private gardens to create privacy. At the same time the conversion allows special trump cards to remain, like up to five-metre high living room walls (and windows).This melts into a con-

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