An ornately carved Moroccan door leads from the large Berliner Zimmer to the bedroom in Kasia Korczak and Payam Sharifi’s apartment in a classic Gründerzeitwohnung in Berlin Moabit. Sharifi says that when it’s closed, it has a tromp l’oeil effect: guests often don’t realise that it’s a real door.
“Because it doesn’t fit in that environment — there’s this traditional Moroccan door squeezed into a 19th century house — (they assume that) it’s a sculpture or a wall piece,” he says. “They don’t think it opens up.”
But it does, and it has a curious psychological effect. “There’s an open-sesame effect of opening an old wooden door, as opposed to a standard door, which makes the passage into the bedroom more pronounced, dividing the private space from the more public realm of the home,” Sharifi says.
Korczak had already decided to include the door before plans to renovate the apartment. As their architect Marc Benjamin Drewes, who worked in collaboration with Schneideroelsen, recalls: “The first time we walked into the space, it was already lying on the floor.”
He freely admits that he would never have been bold enough to include it in a renovation, but loves its effect.
The Moroccan door also marks an important transition in the apartment between the spaces with original 19th century features, which were restored, and a contrasting, more modern section where new walls were added to accommodate bathrooms, and where, “we couldn’t rely on the old traditional look,” Drewes says. “Hence, we went completely modern and did something without any details.”