Barkow Leibinger

Barkow Leibinger
Schillerstraße 94, D–10625 Berlin
T +49(0)30 315712 -0 F -29

House Berlin-Karlshorst

The clients, a young couple, desired a work-live situation from where they could run their antique-book sales business. Located on an empty site near the Prinzenviertel in Karlshorst southeast of Berlin, the neighborhood (in the former East) is characterized by a heterogeneous mix of single family and apartment buildings dating back to the late 19th to early 20th century. This „dissonance“ has enabled the project to mediate between the different styles offering a contemporary solution to the archetypical house. Organized as a compact floor plan under a folded asymmetrical roof, the house makes a transition form the higher existing corner building to the lower scaled neighbor house to the west.

Based on a quadratic plan surrounding a central stair the spaces are animated by several double-height volumes under a rotated and dynamic roof providing spaces for work, living and reading. The crystalline volume, about 10 x 10 meters in size uses its ambiguous elevations to merge with the inconsistent scale of the surrounding area, and its roof of varying height to establish a connection with its neighbors. Inside, private and working spaces are organized on two living area floors toped by a space under the roof used for their offices complimented by a cut-in loggia. Focusing on the south rear garden, interior spaces wrap around the core of exposed concrete stairs and fireplace, leading to the double height studio and dining area, and up to the roof.

The clients explicitly asked for a raw, industrial materials, favoring additional space over expensive finishes. The roof is clad in standing seam aluminum and the masonry walls are covered in a vertical scored patchwork of chalk-white stucco. Large windows with stained larch box frames punctuate this monolithic surface.

Project Information

Architects — Barkow Leibinger, Berlin, Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger


Team Design — Michael Bölling, Phillip Raum


Team Construction — Phillip Raum and Philipp Welter (Project Architects), Philipp Heydel, André Paaßen, Verena Schneider






Berlin, Germany



250 sqm



2006 - 2007




Construction Management

Ingenieurbüro Heesing, Berlin


Structural Engineer

Hörnicke Hock Thieroff, Berlin


Mechanical Engineer

PHA Planungsbüro für haustechnische Anlagen GmbH, Breuna


Electrical Engineer

SIST-Elektro GmbH, Berlin