philipp von matt blends art and architecture with an artist’s house in berlin


philipp von matt architects unveils his “o12 – artist’s house” in berlin’s central mitte district. bright and sculptural, the new house and studio promotes a dialogue between art and architecture. the German project is carried out after a continuous exchange between the architect and the private client, a well-known French artist. the result is a hybrid of works of art and architecture, which responds to the critical challenge of balancing professional and private life and of combining both residential programming and gallery programming.

images © philipp von matt architectes

philipp von matt architects designs the facade of his artist’s house in berlin as a seemingly arbitrary composition of openings – subtly reminiscent of the rhythm of the surrounding buildings. the outer shell betrays little suspicion of the interiors, allowing the unashamedly raw magnificence of the concrete staircase to be discovered, upon entering the front door. the arrangement of the flights of stairs and the overhead lighting immediately evoke the atmosphere of piranesi designs. here, exposed concrete appears like a timeless stone, while a cascade of light draws the eye upwards.

philipp von mat berlin

philipp von matt architects’ ground floor mainly hosts a public program, including a gallery and an exhibition space. the sequence of rooms unfolds along the staircase in a series of monumental and intimate spaces, generously open to the west and more modest rooms to the east. the first floor accommodates the kitchen and the living space, while the second floor is entirely dedicated to the sleeping area. by climbing the stairs and following a path that simultaneously seems to compress and decompress the spaces, the guests finally reach the top: the top floor exclusively occupied by the studio.

philipp von mat berlin

natural light plays a central role as it influences the change of atmosphere, with open rooms flooded with light and more intimate and warmly lit rooms. the large rooftop studio skylight gives the room the appearance of an open-air workshop, with the glass roof serving as the sky. this resonance of light is amplified by the selective use of colors and materials. the colors of the rooms dedicated to art are delicate and neutral, while the colors of the living spaces become more and more warm and welcoming. the combination of different materials, from concrete and steel to wood and natural and earthy elements such as clay plaster, terracotta and ceramics, merge to create surprising twists in the narrative of space.

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project info:

Project title: O12 – artist’s house

architecture: philipp von matt architects

location: mitte, berlin, germany

design team: philipp von matt, stefano tiracchia

contractor, envelope 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

concept of fire safety: ABIT engineering

completion: january 2020

photography: courtesy of philipp von matt


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