Sapphire, Berlin / Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind is developing his first apartment building in Germany on Chausseestrasse in Berlin, just metres from where the Berlin Wall used to run its’ course. “Sapphire” bears the rough edges characteristic of Libeskind’s work, making the body of the building resemble a cut gem, a sapphire. The project, which will create a total of 73 apartments, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016.

Libeskind’s choice of name actually points beyond the crystalline structure of his building. For it is simultaneously a loving allegory of the present state of Berlin. “It’s all about its holistic character: the light of the sapphire, and simultaneously its softness. But a sapphire is also rough, it is hard, it is durable, it is rugged, it is resilient due to the very nature of its material. All of these are character traits shared by Berlin itself and its residents,” the architect said on the occasion of an interview in which he presented his project for the first time.

The implementation of the building has been entrusted to two local contractors, Rainer Bahr and Holger Rausch.

Each of the two to four bedroom apartments in the Sapphire is unique. The 73 apartments range in size from 36 to 169 square metres, and at least one wall in each of them displays Libeskind’s sculptural style of construction. Libeskind places great importance on the environmental sustainability of his project. Most notably, the conspicuously shimmering ceramic façade will improve the carbon footprint of the building.

“This sort of tile has never been produced before, and is entirely environmentally friendly. It helps the building to balance its emission of greenhouse gases (CO2). What makes the new material special is not just its self-cleaning effect but also the fact that it produces oxygen by converting carbon dioxide.” Moreover, tiles are a highly durable material. So far, no signs of wear or erosion have been demonstrated at all for the ceramic titanium material used by Libeskind.

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
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About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

1 thought on “Sapphire, Berlin / Daniel Libeskind”

  1. Awful. Truly dreadful and garish. Hopefully Libeskind’s “first apartment building in Germany” will also be his last.

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