Scene district Prenzlauerberg in one of the Estradenhäuser. When a loft apartment was to be acquired in the same house, the architect Ester Bruzkus took the opportunity to start a new project - also because of the roof terrace and the beautiful view. Esters Apartment 2.0: She combines Le Corbusier, concrete and purple velvet with an outstandingly fresh colour and material constellation.
The starting point of her project was an open, light-flooded room (80 sqm living space and 90 sqm roof terrace) with concrete floor and ceiling, which extend between the east and west glazed parts of the building’s façade. It is always important for the architect to work with an exact floor plan. From here, she began to change the layout fundamentally and so the complete conversion of the apartment became a stage for Ester Bruzkus’ design ideas. «Since I had already planned the apartment on the second floor in dozens of variants and lived there for two years, my approach was to question all floor plans and to design everything in a complete different way. In the old apartment, for example, there was a large kitchen and dining area and only a small living area. I wanted to have everything much more open now.» She added a few geometrical volumes, which divide the apartment into rooms, but also connect the individual areas. The result is a loft apartment that combines all the qualities of Ester Bruzkus' architectural and interior design practice: efficient planning, bespoke furniture and uniquely exciting colour and material combinations.
The architect always makes sure that there are corners and edges in a room that raise questions. She has a clear idea: «In my opinion, a tension should be created while the architecture itself remains aesthetic and coherent. It stands and falls with the details and the handling of various materials.» This design approach has been completed in their Berlin loft apartment: the material mix is amazingly versatile, fresh and exciting at the same time – concrete wall meets purple velvet and terrazzo.
«I like to work with opposites to create moments of tension or surprise. This is possible not only with materials, but also with colour. In customer projects, I have a lot of respect for colour and use them sparingly and very calculated. Nevertheless, one thing is very clear to me: colour composes space! Architecture and colour belong together.»
In her apartment, Ester Bruzkus was able to live her life creatively and chose the original and mineral Le Corbusier wall paint from the 1931 collection. She thinks his colour keyboards are both expressive and timelessly classic, which is why the colours are the perfect complement to her interior design.
One of the biggest challenges the architect had to face was the storage space. For this, she found a clever solution. Bruzkus designed an L-shaped structure for the living and dining area, while the bedroom and bathroom are hidden behind a light wood structure. In addition, the architect opted for a living room wall made of gray painted wooden slats, which conceals a light blue cabinet inside. The living room – the business card of Ester Bruzkus’ extraordinary design: The opulent custom-made sofa, the LC7 stool and chair by Cassina in different shades of pink are playfully placed in front of the wall in the Veronese Green 32042 vert anglais clair, while the soft Berber carpet contrasts the cool cubic marble tables. In homage to the Italian designer and architect Ettore Sottsass, she designed a dining table in geometric shapes in collaboration with the label Studio Coucou – ‹Memphis Melon› wears pastel green. As a perfect complement in the background, Ester chose the Le Corbusier colour 32042 vert anglais clair (which also extends into the living room) next to the gleaming white 4320B blanc ivoire. Opposite is the open kitchen, made of light oak with a large terrazzo worktop. The powder-pink kitchen cabinets are contrasted by the bright 32013 gris clair 31 and look very harmonious with the green of the dining area. A special trick by the architect: if one opens the kitchen cabinets, the English green of the dining area can be found on the inner walls.
Around the corner, behind the kitchen, is the bedroom, which is painted in the bright redocre from the Architectural Polychromy – 32112 l'ocre rouge clair. The room exudes calm and stability. Complementing the chosen wall paint, it placed JUNG light switches and sockets in the colour 32121 terre sienne brique. A door leads to the bathroom. A cubic bathtub and a shower (ETNA) made entirely of terrazzo marble lie at the foot of a small step. The blue cabinet is complemented by the bright ultramarine 32023 outremer pâle, a colour that gently recedes. A striking accent: next to the Carrara-Marble sink is another JUNG light switch, in the powerful Cerulian Blue 32030 bleu céruléen 31. The mirror is emblazoned on a wallpaper based on Hokusai's ‹The Great Wave of Kanagawa›.
Despite their cool material, the concrete floor and ceiling seem soft and complement the different colours in the entire living area. On both sides of the glass fronts are narrow balconies. One leads to a staircase on the terrace, from where one has a fantastic view over Berlin. The roof garden was designed from different volumes and platforms. The surface of the roof terrace is divided into three overlapping zones: on one side is the area for sunbathing and relaxing, the middle is the communicative area and on the other side the habitants are dining and celebrating. It is richly decorated with plants and flowers and reflects both the morphology and the colourful splendor of the apartment. As a successful architect, Ester Bruzkus is very busy – especially then the ‹homecoming› is important to her. «The apartment is perfect. The moment we get home, we leave all worries behind. Coming home always feels like holidays.»
In their exciting projects, Ester Bruzkus and her team have already used the Le Corbusier colours frequently – Ester Bruzkus Architekten also designed the interior of the scene restaurant ‹L.A.POKE› in Berlin, about which we have already reported in detail. Les Couleurs® Le Corbusier mineral paints from KEIMFARBEN are sold under the poLyChro® collection. The matching Les Couleurs® Le Corbusier light switches and sockets can be found in the JUNG range.
Esters Apartment ©Jens Bösenberg
Floorplan Apartment ©Ester Bruzkus Architekten