Comprising two separate buildings, Kontorhaus encapsulates Berlin as a city of contrasts. The 19th-century half, with its Neoclassical facade and palatial proportions, has an illustrious past as the former Kronen Cafe – a glitzy hotspot for theatre-goers during the 1920s. Its minimalist Nineties counterpart, however, has a more brutal back story from the GDR era, sitting across from Checkpoint Charlie, the famous crossing point between East and West Berlin.
Local architecture firm Weiss-Heiten was tasked with merging these opposing buildings in the heart of Friedrichstadt to create a unified office space that acknowledges the old and embraces the new, speaks of grandiosity and simplicity, and has both local and international appeal.
‘What excites us more than the aesthetics is the beautiful energy and history that’s within the walls themselves,’ says Tobias Kohlhaas, founding partner of Weiss-Heiten. ‘It’s wonderful to add to this heritage and continue the legacy forward. I believe those that use the building will be able to sense the love and care that’s gone into crafting Kontorhaus and they, too, will become custodians.’