The rea­son Karl Lager­feld gave up this stun­ning river­side prop­erty could be ex­actly why you would love to live in it

The National - News - Luxury - - HOT PROPERTY -

If there’s one thing Karl Lager­feld can never be ac­cused of, it’s idle­ness. The Ger­man fash­ion de­signer not only cre­ates mul­ti­ple sea­sonal col­lec­tions for the houses of Chanel and Fendi each year, but also over­sees his epony­mous brand, al­ways pho­to­graphs his own cam­paigns and cre­ates one-off red-car­pet gowns for his celebrity muses.

It is lit­tle won­der, then, that Lager­feld gave up his beloved Villa Jako, which is perched on the banks of the River Elbe and was his home for much of the 1990s. As he told his es­tate agent at En­gel & Völk­ers: “It’s im­pos­si­ble to live on the Elbe. You spend all your time look­ing out at the river. You end up be­com­ing lazy.” Sounds about per­fect.

The hill­top res­i­dence, lo­cated in Ham­burg’s af­flu­ent Blankenese dis­trict, is in­spired by neo-clas­si­cal Ro­man ar­chi­tec­ture. This is ev­i­dent in a front por­tico manned by mul­ti­ple col­umns, and the grand di­men­sions and strik­ing sym­me­try of the heavy stones that dom­i­nate the build­ing’s façade. The en­trance is through an arch­way rem­i­nis­cent of Paris’s Arc de Tri­om­phe.

The 5,000-square-foot villa is set on 2.9 acres of lush green­ery, with high-growing hedges and dense fo­liage. The lower level fea­tures a cen­tral atrium with an im­plu­vium, a sunken Ro­man wa­ter pool, which leads to a grand liv­ing room that spans the length of the prop­erty. The first floor has a gallery, li­brary and arched glass door­ways with a land­scaped ter­race over­look­ing the placid wa­ters. The three en-suite bed­rooms on this level can be reached by walk­ing along a hall­way lined with book­shelves and vel­vet drapes, and each bed­room fea­tures walk-in dress­ing rooms. The last level has four ad­di­tional bed­rooms and three bath­rooms.

The prop­erty was orig­i­nally built in the 1920s by ar­chi­tect Wal­ter Baedeker for ship­ping mag­nate Her­rmann Witte, and was also home to lawyer Al­fred Schüler, who named it Villa Schüler. Lager­feld changed the name to Villa Jako, a er his for­mer part­ner Jac­ques de Bascher, when he bought the prop­erty in 1991. The de­signer en­listed famed art con­ser­va­tor Re­nate Kant and French dec­o­ra­tor An­drée Putma to re­fur­bish the in­te­rior. The home is now reg­is­tered on Ger­many’s Na­tional Her­itage list.

The liv­ing area re­tains sev­eral el­e­ments from Lager­feld’s time, in­clud­ing the oak and mar­ble floor­ing, six-me­tre-high cof­fered ceil­ings lined with gold leaf, and the or­nate bro­cade fab­rics, pat­terned rugs and wall hang­ings that he in­stalled to off­set the stern stone ex­te­rior.

Lager­feld also shot the ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign for his Lager­feld Jako fra­grance on the house’s columned ter­race, and ref­er­enced the prop­erty in his book Ein

Deutsches Haus (A Ger­man House), where he al­ludes, some­what wist­fully, to its too-tran­quil sur­rounds.

Villa Jako is on the mar­ket through En­gel & Volk­ers for €10 mil­lion. By Panna Mun­yal


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