Bold would be an understatement. Peter Schlesselmann's home is a brilliant kaleidoscope of colour - luminous swathes of vibrant orange, neon yellow and bright aqua dominate the Berlin home, and the effect is simultaneously dizzying and uplifting.
"I've been living here for six years, and I've felt at home right from the start," Schlesselmann says.
The writer and film producer was so comfortable with the home's potential and the architect's abilities that he didn't even give the latter a brief. Berlin-based architect Gisbert Pöppler made some minor reconfigurations to the internal layout, but it was his ideas for the home's décor and palette that captured Schlesselmann's imagination. "I immediately agreed with his choice of bright colours to define each room," the film producer says.
The visual stimulus starts from without - the common areas of the building are coloured orange and purple, setting the tone for an unusual and dynamic interior, and the architect continued this aesthetic inside Schlesselmann's apartment. There, the living room features lemon yellow walls in stark contrast with a duck-egg blue ceiling and vermillion floor, not to mention the electric blue chairs and plum divan sofa. The emerald-hued study and intensely orange kitchen nearby add to the vibrant colour palette, accentuated by the open layout created by Pöppler.
"The architect suggested that I open up the kitchen to the living area by getting rid of a wall," Schlesselmann recalls.
"This led to an increase of space and visual continuity between the two rooms."
This recommendation proved to be a game-changer as the original plan featured small, tight rooms and spaces, characteristic of home layouts at the time. By knocking down the wall and letting the two biggest spaces flow freely, Pöppler ensured that the home had more visual breathing space and ergonomic freedom. More notably, the new layout allowed for the wall, ceiling and floor colours to complement each other in striking contrast.
The use of pure blocks of colour was an identifying feature of a great many rationalist projects from the Bauhaus era, unsurprising given that the building itself was designed in 1957 by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius for the Internationale Bauausstellung exhibition.
Schlesselmann is clearly in love with his quirky home, from the vividly hued interior design to the whimsical exterior architecture, which features a concave façade with large balconies arranged in a checkerboard pattern.
"This is a very green part of the city," he says, guiding us towards the balcony, from which one can enjoy lush green views of the surrounding Tiergarten. "Sometimes on a summer evening you can see foxes running about in the park, and every morning I wake up to the sound of birds chirping in the trees, or the animals roaring in the zoo nearby."
This is a rare treat, given that the apartment is right in the city centre, just a short walk from Kurfürstendamm, the most important shopping street in the west part of Berlin.
The apartment was designed to make the most of its surroundings - the building itself is orientated in order to maximise its exposure to natural light, while the interior layout and architecture adhere to the minimalistic and modern principles of the Bauhaus movement. The ethos of "form following function" is clear here - the building's curved façade, for example, is ideal for bringing in the sunlight, which beams in through the white aluminium parapets of the balconies, flooding the apartment with light.
As far as furniture is concerned, Schlesselmann is happy with his mix of vintage and contemporary pieces. "I didn't want the house to look like a museum of modernism," he says. "I consulted with the architect, and vice versa - it took us a while to find the best pieces of furniture." The results are impressive - among the most recognisable pieces are the purple divan sofa in the living room, a creation by Austrian manufacturer Neue Wiener Werkstätte, as well as an iconic black marble table designed by Eero Saarinen for Knoll. Other highlights include classic Bauhaus lamps and the Tab Lamp designed by Barber Osgerby for Flos.
Minimalist metal shelves line the walls in Sclesselmann's study, in which he also has not one, but two writing desks. The improved flow of the space and the vibrant hues of the rooms serve as inspiration to the prolific writer, and Schlesselmann declares himself more than satisfied with how the home turned out.
"I'm delighted by the mood created by the colours of the walls, and the integration between the open kitchen and the living room," he says. "I should really invite my friends over more often."
The Resident Peter Schlesselmann, writer and film producer
The Home Ninety square metres on the second floor of a building designed by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius
The Location Berlin city centre, a stone's throw from Kurfürstendamm, a popular shopping destination
The Style Bauhaus minimalism, from low ceilings and strip windows to the small rooms. Berlin-based architect Gisbert Pöppler later opened up the space for a more free-flowing layout by knocking down the wall between the kitchen and the living room.
Additional reporting Helenio Barbetta/living Inside