With large angular windows designed to catch maximum light, canted walls, and a metallic-coated ceramic façade, the 107,000 sq. ft. (10,000 m2) Chausseestrasse 43 occupies the corner of a block in central Berlin.

Daniel Libeskind’s challenge was to create 73 desirable one- to four-bedroom apartments on a more or less rectangular plot a little less than half an acre (16,000 sq. ft.), accommodating attractive retail on the ground floor, underground parking, and a common outdoor area. 


The architect achieved this and more.  The dramatic coda is found at the top, where a penthouse apartment, perched on the prow of the building, embodies the ultimate in inside/outside urban living. 


Here, a double-height living room is lined on one side by a sloping wall of obliquely shaped windows, which leads out to a patio overlooking Berlin.  A floating stairway ascends to an open-plan living area, bedrooms are tucked into the rear, and the ceiling sweeps up to a height of ­21 feet.


The façade cladding is an innovative three-dimensional stoneware tile that Libeskind designed with the Italian company Casalgrande Padana. The geometric ceramic panels not only create an expressive metallic pattern, but they possess surprising sustainable properties such as air purification and they are self-cleaning.


This cathedral for modern living occupies a piece of land where the Wulffersche iron factory once operated before being expropriated from its Jewish owners during World War II. 

Location: Berlin, Germany
Structural Engineer: PORR
Mechanical / Electrical / Plumbing Engineer: PORR
Cost & Site Supervision: W+W
Building size: 107,000
Completion Date: 2015
Client: Minerva