philipp von matt architects unveils its ‘O12 — artist house’ in the central mitte district of berlin. bright and sculptural, the new home and studio fosters a dialogue between art and architecture. the german project is realized after a continuous exchange between the architect and the private client, a well-known french artist. the result is a hybrid of artwork and architecture, that responds to the critical challenge of balancing professional and private life and combining both residential and gallery programming.
images © philipp von matt architects
philipp von matt architects designs the facade of its artist house in berlin as a seemingly arbitrary composition of openings — subtly recalling the rhythm of the surrounding buildings. the exterior shell betrays little hint of the interiors, enabling the discovery of the unashamed raw magnificence of the concrete staircase, upon entering the front door. the arrangement of the flights of stairs and the zenithal lighting, immediately evoke the atmosphere of piranesi’s drawings. here, the exposed concrete appears to be a timeless stone, while acascade of light draws the gaze upwards.
the ground floor of philipp von matt architects hosts mainly public programming, including a gallery and an exhibition space. the sequence of rooms unfolds along the stairway in a concatenation of monumental and intimate spaces, generously open to the west and with more modest rooms to the east. the first floor hosts the kitchen and the living area, while the second floor is entirely dedicated to the sleeping area. going up the stairs and following a path that seems to simultaneously compress and decompress spaces, guests finally reach the peak: the top floor exclusively occupied by the atelier.
natural light plays a central role as it influences the shift in atmosphere, with open, light-flooded rooms and more intimate, warmly lit ones. the rooftop studio’s large skylight lends the room the appearance of an atelier en plein air, with the glass roof serving as the sky. this resonance of light is amplified by the selective use of colors and materials. the hues of the rooms dedicated to art are delicate and neutral, while the shades in the living spaces become increasingly warm and inviting. the combination of different materials, from concrete and steel to wood and natural, earthy elements such as clay plaster, terracotta and ceramics, fuse to create surprising twists in the narrative of the space.
project title: O12 — artist house
architecture: philipp von matt architects
location: mitte, berlin, germany
design team: philipp von matt, stefano tiracchia
contractor, shell and core: TBN terminbau niesky gmbh, niesky
structural engineering: marko ludwig, 2B planungsgesellschaft
acoustic engineering: peter schoch, 2B planungsgesellschaft
technical building installations: ralf ihlefeldt, PKB ingenieurgesellschaft
fire safety concept: ABIT ingenieure
completion: january, 2020
photography: courtesy of philipp von matt