Karl Lagerfeld and Hamburg´s Sophienterrassen
Star designer provides interior design for exclusive residential developments
“I was always interested in houses”, explains Karl Lagerfeld. “I read recently in a French magazine that over the last 25 years I have designed the interiors of around 30 buildings for myself. Well, this is a normal extension of my profession.” When he says “this”, the fashion designer means the Sophienterrassen project.
In Harvestehude, one of Hamburg’s finest districts, on the left bank of the Outer Alster, more than 130 top-class residential units are currently under construction: Alster villas, park villas and town houses.
The project was launched by Frankonia Eurobau AG, which is investing more than 340 million Euros here and, despite the general crisis, is looking to the future optimistically. “We are getting a very large number of enquiries”, confirms Sabine Stecher, in charge of the builder’s quality management. But she cannot be brought to give any concrete details as yet. “I would rather not say anything more about that ? it’s one of our principles. Doing things quietly and discreetly, not trumpeting them around.” Franconia have made an announcement, however, about their collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld, who grew up in this famous and elegant district, and who will be creating the interiors for two of the Alster villas, the reception and lounge area of the Sophienpalais, and a restaurant.
In spring this year, amid the photographers’ popping flashlights, Lagerfeld, who lives in Paris, opened the showroom, which can be visited as a kind of show house.
The showroom demonstrates to interested visitors a possible alternative for dividing the building into rooms and provides with them with suggestions for the interior. Lagerfeld himself has already been thinking about the interior design: “I have certain ideas in my head and need to see whether they fit.” He certainly places great value on quality and homely comfort. “Comfort in the good sense of the word”, he emphasises, “not the petit-bourgeois kind.”
Nor are the Sophienterrassen the only project to bring Lagerfeld into the world of interior design. Dubai Infinity Holdings has also succeeded in gaining the fashion guru as a collaborator. Lagerfeld will create the interiors for 80 properties on Isla Moda off the coast of the Emirate. The Isle of Fashion will be built in the midst of “The World”, an artificial archipelago, where it will enthuse and attract a well-heeled clientele.
Karl Lagerfeld was already interested in interior design and furnishing at an early date. Thus at the start of the 90s he assisted as creative designer in the renovation of the Grunewald Schlosshotel: the dominant features there are gold, stucco and silk wall papers from Lyon.
In Hamburg, on the other hand, Lagerfeld will be setting his priorities differently: “Somehow we need to find a modern formula for a new Hanseatic style ? quite elegant, but not boring, and not petit-bourgeois”, explains the star designer. At the start of September the work on the buildings will be far enough advanced for him to have thoughts about the interior design. The first homes are due to be ready for moving in next year. We shall be reporting here on how the Hanseatic Style is put into practice.
Photos 1 and 2 © Frankonia Eurobau AG
Photo 3 © Alma Berlin, Schlosshotel im Grunewald