For years, Berlin has been a hub for both alternative culture and affordable living. But if some of the capital’s most recent real estate developments are any indication, the latter is changing fast. Take Eisenzahn 1, a residential project in the Berlin-Wilmersdorf area, where developer Ralf Schmitz is taking things up a notch in collaboration with Italian luxury leather-goods manufacturer Bottega Veneta, outfitting the neoclassicist building’s lobby and full-floor penthouse with the company’s sought-after home collection. Over in formerly gritty East Berlin, David Chipperfield is erecting Palais Varnhagen, a 52-unit hôtel particulier designed in the architect’s signature pared-down modernist style. But the real standout of Berlin’s evolution might be Daniel Libeskind’s 73-unit Sapphire project. Located in the northern part of Mitte on a lot immediately adjacent to where the wall once stood, it is the Polish-born architect’s first major Berlin project since completing the famed Jewish Museum in 2001. The Sapphire’s ceramic-titanium facade bends and flexes, its vertical axes careening left and right. Berlin’s rents might be on the rise, but at least things remain culturally interesting.
Berlin’s Luxury Arrival
The opulent developments that are turning Germany’s capital into a newly hot real estate boomtown.