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Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm

A design masterwork with its own style

From the exterior façade to the soap dishes, tiles and door handles – for the 17-storey Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm, Berlin architect Jan Kleihues designed simply everything. His style is a common thread running throughout the entire hotel. Completed in 2005, one year later the Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm was awarded the Berlin Architectural Award.

Jan Kleihues is evidently very pleased with his work since he still lives on the 12th floor of the building. An exceptional architect in his own right, in the course of his career he was assistant to German artist Markus Lüpertz and a project architect for Raffael Moneo and Daniel Libeskind.Today, Jan Kleihues is a professor of architectural design at the Berlin University of the Arts. While the Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm was under construction, he allowed his eight best students to design – naturally, under his close supervision – the Opera Suites in the round corners on the third to tenth floors. As a result, each of these suites has its own exclusive and unique look.

But when it came to the art in the hotel, Jan Kleihues had to compromise. When the hotel owner commissioned Junior Toscanelli to paint the hotel’s art works, Kleihues – ever the perfectionist – sent the artist a list of the project numbers of each picture together with its exact dimensions. Toscanelli, an artistic free spirit, then included just these details on each of his paintings!

Although the elegantly slim Art Deco architecture may recall the New York’s legendary Flatiron Building, the Sofitel Berlin is actually the city’s only French luxury hotel offering the genuine experience of the art de vivre. And if guests are then inspired to take their time over a relaxed stroll around outside the hotel, they will notice how, as the light changes, the façade takes on a spectrum of different red tones. When it came to the building’s cladding, Jan Kleihues also had his say – and chose natural Kirchheim shell limestone.

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