Ur­ban oa­sis

The in­dus­trial look doesn’t have to be cold. Tex­tures, house­plants and an abun­dance of nat­u­ral light give this Berlin apart­ment a sunny dis­po­si­tion

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents -

House­plants, tex­ture and nat­u­ral light warm the hard edges of this in­dus­trial Berlin home

THE COU­PLE EM­BRACED THE STRIPPED-BACK STYLE OF THIS CON­CRETE SPACE AND PER­SON­ALISED IT WITH THEIR LOVE OF AR­TI­SANAL OB­JECTS

Jochen Pohlmann and Mathias Riedel ex­changed their com­fort­able Ham­burg home for this rented in­dus­trial shell in Berlin and in­stantly em­braced its stripped-back style. Their new home is en­cased in con­crete, with ex­posed steel col­umns stand­ing sen­try through­out. But the at­mos­phere here is ethe­real rather than cold: abun­dant nat­u­ral light dis­solves the apart­ment’s hard in­dus­trial edges and large glazed doors of­fer glimpses of the ter­race and tree­tops beyond.

Jochen, a fash­ion stylist, was drawn to this build­ing by the com­bi­na­tion of ma­te­ri­als that had been used in its con­struc­tion. ‘It is noth­ing more than what it claims to be,’ he says, ‘a piece of na­ture con­sist­ing of ce­ment, sand and water’. His part­ner Mathias was happy to take a back seat dur­ing the de­sign process – even when Jochen made the de­ci­sion to leave the con­crete walls, floors and ceil­ing as he found them. The par­ti­tions in the bath­room and guest cloak­room have been painted grey and white, with darker tones of char­coal grey and black used to frame the kitchen, liv­ing area and bed­room. Else­where, Jochen has added his own ma­te­ri­als to the mix: the ply­wood cab­i­netry in the kitchen, for in­stance, is cus­tom-made.

Much of the fur­ni­ture in the apart­ment came from the cou­ple’s old flat in Ham­burg, and is ar­ranged with trea­sures that Jochen finds when trav­el­ling for work. He has been known to drag en­tire suit­cases full of china from one con­ti­nent to the next – an in­sane amount of plates and bowls. Hand­made clay teapots (some of them very old) dec­o­rate the open shelv­ing units. Both he and Mathias have a pas­sion for ar­ti­sanal crafts­man­ship, yet their col­lec­tions do not over­whelm this home. ‘Less is more,’ says Mathias, whose in­flu­ence clearly curbs his part­ner’s en­thu­si­asm for ac­quir­ing new ob­jects. ‘ We ne­go­ti­ate about what is dis­played each time Jochen brings some­thing home,’ he adds.

Words KERSTIN ROSE Photography CORA BÜTTENBENDER Styling JOCHEN POHLMANN

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