Palais Varnhagen

Ground floor plan
Typical floor plan

The ‘Palais Varnhagen’, a residential building with fifty apartments and
two commercial units, will be situated on Französische Straße in the
centre of Berlin on a site, which has remained undeveloped since World
War II. The building owes its name to Rahel Varnhagen and her literary
salon, which in the 19th century was one of the most popular venues on
Französische Straße. A deep recess from the second storey upwards opens
up the building to the street, creating a U-shape facing the south and
providing optimum daylight conditions for all apartments. Gardens in the
courtyard, on the roof surfaces and roof perimeters mediate between the
public street space and the private residential façades of the interior
courtyard.


Palais Varnhagen

The ‘Palais Varnhagen’, a residential building with fifty apartments and two commercial units, will be situated on Französische Straße in the centre of Berlin on a site, which has remained undeveloped since World War II. The building owes its name to Rahel Varnhagen and her literary salon, which in the 19th century was one of the most popular venues on Französische Straße. A deep recess from the second storey upwards opens up the building to the street, creating a U-shape facing the south and providing optimum daylight conditions for all apartments. Gardens in the courtyard, on the roof surfaces and roof perimeters mediate between the public street space and the private residential façades of the interior courtyard.

The building geometry is historically based on the typology of the ‘Hôtel particulier’, a building form originally prevalent in Paris, which transferred the representative, prestigious qualities of palaces to the residential buildings of the urban patrician class. In keeping with this historic archetype, a central gate in ‘Palais Varnhagen’ leads to a garden courtyard with four entrances, each with a representative foyer. The apartments are spacious with generous room heights and offer views of Französische Straße. In the central rear building wing, the apartments have optimal sun exposure and overlook the quiet, green courtyard.

Tall oak timber windows with sliding sashes and casements are set deep in the window reveals. The façades of the ground floor and the two-storey penthouse are made of fair-faced concrete, while the façades from the first to fifth floors have a mineral plaster finish.

Project start:
2011
Completion:
2017
Gross floor area:
10,500 m²
Client:
Grundstücksgesellschaft Französische Straße 56–60 GmbH & Co. KG (Artprojekt with Baywobau)
Architect:
David Chipperfield Architects Berlin