Berlin Interiors.Интерьеры Берлина | Wiensowski
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With gorgeous photos by Eric Laignel and tri-lingual text by Ingeborg Wiensowski, the large format ‘Berlin Interiors’ is a great book to curl up with. This is the modern, twenty-first century city that is depicted here, and yet as the text and the photos make clear, Berlin’s history is always there: in the historic districts, the old townhouses, in the converted warehouses originally built in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and in the huge housing blocks of the old German Democratic Republic. In fact, there are large one and two-page photos of the city over the last hundred years sprinkled throughout the book, including pictures from the Weimar era. This is a book that celebrates both past and present, but always through a modern design lens.
The book is divided up into districts, with many examples of interior design and architectural renovation and remodelling. Berlin-Mitte is the first section, an area that was a cultural centre during the Weimar Republic, but rendered forgotten and inaccessible by the Berlin Wall which turned it into a frontier zone. After the fall of the Wall, the Mitte district again attracted attention, becoming the biggest construction site in Europe as the derelict Potsdamer Platz was brought back to life. Redevelopment also benefited the Brandenburg Gate. No longer a frontier, it has recovered its former status. But the book is concerned with Berlin’s interiors and in the first apartment, the wooden flooring, pale walls and understated attention to detail is a good introduction to the rest of the book. Lighting is important to the architects, designers and householders of these Berlin homes. Windows are often undecorated, while modern lighting creates focal points, comfort zones and warmth in rooms that might otherwise seem Spartan at times. Wood, metal, and glass are common materials, with pale walls a recurring preference. But there’s opulence too, most notably in the beautiful Russian Embassy.
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