Would you like to live in a flat located at a crossroads with multiple lanes, a steel railway viaduct and a very busy kiosk that sells hamburgers?
According to Alexandra Erhard and Thomas Karsten – studio Karhard –, the answer is yes.
Alexandra commented: “Here, life is in full swing – she said laughing and looking at the noisy comings and goings of traffic from the balcony – but, despite this, the sounds on the fourth floor become a light noise that doesn’t bother us.” The flat is located in Berlin, inside a building in the Kreuzberg district. These 130 square metres are the symbol of the hard work and the life of this couple of architects.
The two designers opted for clear lines, coherent details and easy solutions. They combined warm tones with rough materials such as iron, stone and tiles, focusing their attention on elements that they considered important for a successful result. “Our projects must work – said Thomas –, regardless of whether it is a piece of furniture or installations.”
To find out if what they have thought and chosen for a project can really work, they do the first test in their studio-flat. For example, the chain curtains were first installed in their home and later added to a project for a customer.
The same goes for the dining room chairs, designed for a flat whose customer wanted the legs to be finished in a rusty colour.
“We only pursue ideas and projects that we like as well – said Alexandra –, so much so that the installed prototype chairs also worked for our home.” The two architects are very fond of experimenting, especially in the use of colours. In their flat, they tried earth colours: beige for the corridor, offices and bedrooms, and a warm brown for the living area.
The solid wood flooring in the various rooms has been treated and also bleached; a section has been deliberately left with the original texture to test the whole effect. The finishing touches and the treatments they developed are designed to give spaces a discreet lightness.
The few selected pieces of furniture show their beauty. The favourite pieces are the two Diamond Chairs and the inherited smoked glass table from the 1970s.
The kitchen area is particularly dear to Thomas: as a child, he already wanted to become an architect; otherwise, he would have liked to be a cook. In this space, he has therefore combined his two passions: in his spare time, he can pursue his passion for cooking and at the same time, he can try out ideas to test if they work.
For example, he used some stools to see if a bar-club atmosphere could match their kitchen.
Interior design by Alexandra Erhard & Thomas Karsten – Studio Karhard Photography by Gianni Franchellucci – Written by Robert Paulo Prall