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A new light on past splendour

Following the lavish restoration of a villa in Berlin’s Grunewald district, building technology by Gira is now providing comfort and safety.
9/27/2016
The Smart Home system from Gira also can be integrated into old buildings.
© Marco Moog / Gira
The Smart Home system from Gira also can be integrated into old buildings.

In his 1939 novel “Goodbye To Berlin”, Christopher Isherwood wrote of the Grunewald district that it was a “real slum for millionaires”. And there is a grain of truth in this paradox description, because as a result of the Great Depression lots of the park-like plots from around the turn-of-the 20th century were divided into smaller parcels of land. Today, the villas, country houses and bungalows stand very close to one another. And at the latest when Berlin was a divided city, many of the spacious properties were divided into apartments, and sadly the buildings were not particularly well maintained. That has altered considerably in recent years. New impressive residences were erected for ambassadors, the original historical buildings are gradually being restored and equipped with cutting-edge technologys. As is also the case with a magnificent house by the royal architect Wilhelm Walther dating from 1897. The owners, a couple called Schubert, had the historical building modernized from scratch by their real-estate investment company “SIIB”: the opulent neo-baroque stucco facade was restored and painted white. Restoration involved removing the incongruous alterations that had been made to the house in the last decades.

The rooms of the villa were to be open and spacious once again: to create a penthouse apartment covering 330 m² two levels were combined and state-of-the-art windows fitted. Devices by Gira were also part of the comprehensive modernisation work: via a KNX bus system the Gira HomeServer allows all the operating elements and electricity to be controlled centrally. Accordingly, everything can be operated in next to no time with just a few clicks, from the blinds and heating through to lighting. Moreover, the area in front of the main entrance can be monitored on a display and the lock can be opened or closed at the press of a button.

Very much in keeping with the times, a tablet or smart phone can be used in place of the large touch panel to control the various installations. Today, the villa in Berlin’s Grunewald district offers a perfect symbiosis of the magnificence of past times and the technology of the 21st century. 

The house dating from as long ago as 1897 was lovingly restored down to the last detail.
© Marco Moog / Gira
The house dating from as long ago as 1897 was lovingly restored down to the last detail.
Magnificent stucco is typical for the stately buildings in Berlin’s Grunewald district.
© Marco Moog / Gira
Magnificent stucco is typical for the stately buildings in Berlin’s Grunewald district.
By removing the dividing walls on the upper floor it was possible to create spacious rooms.
© Marco Moog / Gira
By removing the dividing walls on the upper floor it was possible to create spacious rooms.
Thanks to the Gira home station many functions in the house can be operated centrally. Left side: Intercom for the front door with video surveillance, Right side: Collective switches for lighting and dimming.
© Marco Moog / Gira
Thanks to the Gira home station many functions in the house can be operated centrally. Left side: Intercom for the front door with video surveillance, Right side: Collective switches for lighting and dimming.
Despite extensive modernization the charm of the old building has been retained.
© Marco Moog / Gira
Despite extensive modernization the charm of the old building has been retained.
The Gira Control 19 Client is the central operating device for the Gira Home Server and manages the building technology.
© Marco Moog / Gira
The Gira Control 19 Client is the central operating device for the Gira Home Server and manages the building technology.
The attic windows are also controlled using Gira intelligent building technology. From the ventilation flap through to the blinds, all the functions can be centrally activated by the control unit.
© Marco Moog / Gira
The attic windows are also controlled using Gira intelligent building technology. From the ventilation flap through to the blinds, all the functions can be centrally activated by the control unit.

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