LUX

The coolest condominium

A contest to find the best look for a big place right downtown

LUX developer Armando Reguero (right) has a chat with design expert Axel Kufus

The result was surprising: the jury was ultimately persuaded by the pop-art proposal from a young designer from Nuremberg. Was it perhaps the zebra-striped flexible lamp that caused them to give the nod to 29-year-old Jeanette Nique? Or the antique turquoise cabinet that she placed in the kitchen? Probably both. But the major contributing factor may well have been the cheerful, colorful informality that Nique put into her design. After all, the job called for designing what may be Berlin’s most exclusive showcase apartment: a 213 m2 residence in the LUX.

The imposing new building is currently under construction in close proximity to the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, and Friedrichstrasse. Early 2015 is when the first occupants are expected to move in. But Triple A, the developer, and ZIEGERT, the marketer of its 64 apartments and commercial units, came up with the idea of holding a contest for the interior design of one of the apartments back in the early summer of 2013.

 

The challenge for the designers lay in transforming cool framework parameters such as the floor plan and the concrete walls into vibrant living space and creating an emotionally evocative home.

“The purist, transparent architecture of the LUX is the perfect backdrop for innovative interiors,” said Nikolaus Ziegert on presenting the awards in the LUX showroom. “We especially wanted to reach out to customers and young designers.” Forty designers, around half of them from Berlin, submitted proposals. Their interior designs were evaluated by a jury consisting of Angelika Müller, publisher of both H.O.M.E. magazine and the German edition of Domus magazine, and Axel Kufus, a professor of design at the Universität der Künste (University of the Arts).

“New developments are appearing more rapidly and in a more exciting way in Berlin right now than in hardly any other city,” said Triple A Managing Director Armando Reguero at the awards ceremony in March. “That’s true of the LUX as well, where buyers frequently surprise us with their ideas for the furnishings. So it only made sense to hold a contest for designing the LUX showcase apartment. And we weren’t disappointed.”

The jury was impressed not only by Jeanette Niques’ comic style, but also by the classical interpretation of space submitted by Thore Kiesecker (49) from Wernigerode, and by the designs from Simun Tokic (31) at gmsvision in Hanover. The jury praised the latter’s submission and recommended that the ideas from gmsvision be put into practice, noting that “his design and its well-thought-out conceptions are based in detail on Berlin’s young avant-garde.” Axel Kufus summarized the contest as follows: “The winners impressed us with their courage to come up with innovative designs as well as their love of detail.”

The design from gmsvision fits in particularly well with much of the modern objective-style architecture of the LUX. Instead of marble surfaces and golden faucets, a view of the kitchen reveals white cabinet fronts and colorful plastic chairs. A colossal slate panel graces the walls with space for shopping lists, notes, and other ideas. A view of the living room shows a streamlined white seating arrangement and rustic wooden floorboards instead of a refined parquet floor. The flat screen television integrated into the bookshelf is noteworthy for its small dimensions. Loft living instead of opulent design – that is Berlin.

The near future will show what designs can be put into practice and what will interest buyers. But even without having been implemented, the project is already a success by virtue of having brought developers and sales companies together with creative spirits and condominium buyers. “These connections are generating completely new synergy effects and interesting contacts that will surely give rise to many additional connections and projects,” said H.O.M.E. publisher Angelika Müller enthusiastically – hoping for subsequent projects that make yet more interior design developments available to potential buyers.

Berlin has regained its status as a city constantly in flux

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