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In the Center of It All: A Multi-Functional Hamburg Apartment

  • PROJECT NAME Hamburg Apartment
  • LOCATION Hamburg
  • FIRM Graft
  • SQ. FT. 1,300 SQF

What, precisely, do successful entrepreneurs want out of life? They want it all, of course. In this case, all had to fit in the Hamburg apartment that the peripatetic proprietor of a gourmet coffeehouse chain in Germany and Austria bought to share with her boyfriend. Though the apartment’s central neighborhood is very desirable, the 1,300 square feet proved fairly small for her rather extensive wish list.


“The program was definitely bigger than the space,” Graft founding partner Lars Krückeberg says. So he and his fellow partners, Gregor Hoheisel, Wolfram Putz, and Thomas Willemeit, reorganized the interior to feature open zones surrounding a core that anchors the kitchen and encloses the bathroom. More specifically, Graft started by moving plumbing to accommodate them, then housed the mina faceted volume veneeredin walnut. Living, dining, working, and sleeping areas flow seamlessly around, though pocket doors can slide out to create privacy. As Krückeberg describes it, “The default position is open, but they close if she has guests and doesn’t feel like making her bed.”

In the bedroom and the dining area, at opposite window walls, the ceiling is highest. It slopes up from the center of the roughly square space to maximize daylight penetration, as the apartment is on a low floor, shoehorned behind a large building. For added reflectivity, white epoxy coats the floor everywhere but the bathroom, wrapped in random width dark slate. Textured white plaster accents some walls, in a play between rough and smooth. Other walls gain depth from white-lacquered cabinetry.“She is a young, good-looking lady,” Krückebergsays.“So you can imagine she needed clothes storage.”