May 4, 2019–– Few European cities are seeing more property development these days than Berlin, Germany’s vibrant capital and the heart of the country’s culture and history.
Thirty years after the reunification of the once divided city nearly every corner of Berlin is awash in real estate construction, with many long-neglected areas enjoying real estate renewal.
The construction boom is fueling rapid growth and pushing home prices higher: In the last year alone average residential property prices in Berlin have risen 21 percent, according to city data.
Yet despite increased building, Berlin still lacks the level of luxury real estate found in abundance in places like London or Paris, making it challenging to keep up with demand from the expanding number of affluent international buyers landing in the city.
But one luxury project getting notice is SAPPHIRE, a condominium designed by Daniel Libeskind, the celebrated architect behind such high-profile designs as Berlin’s Jewish Museum and New York’s Ground Zero site plan.
The penthouse atop the seven-story building is currently for sale.
The sprawling duplex on Chausseestrasse in Berlin’s trendy Mitte district spans 224 square meters and includes a roof terrace of 60 square meters of living space to the apartment.
The apartment comes with soaring 7 meter high ceilings and large sloping glass walls with panoramic views of the city facing north and south. There is even an option to merge the apartment with an adjacent one, enabling its owner to create a mega property of 325 square metres with 5 terraces that would rank among the largest apartments in Berlin.
The building is adorned in Libeskind’s signature three-dimensional facade and geometric-patterned stoneware tile. The Super Penthouse at SAPPHIRE incorporates large angular windows and canted walls that bring in natural light and invoke the feeling of spaciousness with panoramic views over Berlin.
SAPPHIRE is Libeskind’s first residential property in Berlin and has emerged as one of the most sought-after addresses in the city, says Alexander von Albert, director of Von Albert Real Estate. The independent property consultancy is marketing the penthouse which is only now being made available by the project’s developer.
“Libeskind normally designs museums and public spaces so this makes SAPPHIRE unique,” says von Albert. “A top-tier architect will only plan something special and distinctive.”
He says the distinctive elements of the building include a ceiling height that is double what you would find elsewhere in the city, and construction costs with superior quality and interior design that far exceed most of the new projects being built in Berlin today.
“No developer in today’s market would take such a chance,” Von Albert says. “Developers in today’s market only think about maximizing and efficiency, there is no room for creativeness and high architectural priorities.”
Because of this, Von Albert says, creating a building like SAPPHIRE “is no longer possible with today’s construction costs.”
The SAPPHIRE Super Penthouse includes staging by contemporary artist Christian Awe, a Berlin native who studied under legendary German artist Gerhard Richter at the prestigious University of Arts Berlin. His vivid works on canvass and wall murals, which combine expressive and figurative forms, have been shown at galleries around the globe.
Because of the spaciness of the SAPPHIRE Super Penthouse, von Albert uses the expanded gallery with views over the vast living to host art happenings that showcase Berlin’s creative side rather than routine house tours.
“Berlin is attracting more affluent international homebuyers who are looking for a unique luxury experience,” von Albert says. “This penthouse offers a singular experience.”