The story of Villa Kampffmeyer places it at the heart of German history. Originally conceived as a representative stately home in the early part of the last century, it became a symbol of German history in the ensuing years, exemplified by the Wall between West and East Germany which ran through its grounds. It was temporarily used during the Potsdam Conference in 1945, and since German reunification has played host to international dignitaries and royalty. Following completion of its meticulous renovation and restoration, Villa Kampffmeyer now stands once again as one of Germany's Grand Houses, steeped in unique character and beauty reflective of its place in history. The house was featured in Architectural Digest Magazine in April 2015.
The outside architecture of Villa Kampffmeyer cuts an imposing figure. The elegant exterior with its arched windows, majestic cupola on the south-facing façade, and the entrance portico framed by high pillars, bears testimony to the house's grand past. The entrance is adorned by Three Graces and Mercury sculptures, the Greek mythological patron of commerce. The sculptures were created by Ernst Vogel, who's distinguished himself for his work on the Reichstag, the seat of parliament in Berlin.
The ground floor of the house centres around the impressive Great Hall, with a magnificent fireplace with a sandstone relief, a splendid oak staircase with its heavy hand-woven runner, rich wood panelling and silk tapestry, leading to an upper gallery with a wood beam ceiling displaying carved ornaments. The Great Hall conveys a fitting first impression of the monumental rooms of Villa Kampffmeyer.
The library features an antique stone fireplace, panel parquet flooring, and an ornate coffered golden ceiling. It has direct views of the lake and Glienicke Bridge. The adjacent Blue Salon, the main reception room on the ground floor, exudes elegance with its silk wall coverings, ornate fireplace, and panel parquetry. Through its floor-to-ceiling windows, the Blue Salon opens onto the beautiful terrace which offers fantastic views of Glienicke Bridge and Babelsberg Castle, with steps leading down to the rose garden.
The music room stands out with its exquisite silk wall coverings, rich woodwork, sumptuous inlay parquetry and an elegant séparé room. The garden room features the original stone flooring in checkerboard pattern. Five large patio doors frame the semi-circular grand entrance to the garden, which runs parallel to the water, offering unobstructed view of the lake, Babelsberg Castle and Glienicke Hunting Lodge.
Next to the garden room lies the formal dining room. With its beautiful plasterwork, panel parquet floor, fine silk wall coverings and elegant wood panelling, as well as its four restored cherry wood display cases, it provides the perfect backdrop for elegant dinner parties.
In the kitchen, historic charm meets modernity. The Bulthaup kitchen, with an oversized dark granite countertop, blends seamlessly with the classic mosaic tiles. In the kitchen, as well as in the adjacent informal dining area with its terrazzo floor, subdued colours and modern design are in marked contrast to the grand character of the rest of the house.
The upper floor is arranged around the gallery, and provides more intimate elegance. The Panorama Room, with its succession of wide windows opening onto the water and Glienicke Bridge, and its expansive wall space lends itself to the exhibition of modern art.
The master bedroom blends timeless elegance with a modern flair: the light-grey silk wall coverings and the coffered wooden walls echo the stately elegance of Villa Kampffmeyer. Perhaps its most impressive aspect is the breathtaking view of the landscaped garden it offers through its five bow windows. The en suite dressing room is fitted with hand-made rosewood cabinets, featuring soft indirect lighting.
The adjacent private study has extraordinary views of the lake and the imperial castles from its windows and balcony. The oak parquet floor and the light-coloured silk wall coverings lend the room a sense of muted elegance. The master bathroom, with its original light-coloured ornamental wall tiles and heavy Belgian granite floor tiles, as well as its stucco frieze, has been carefully brought back to its former glory.
The guest wing encompasses several guest rooms decorated in elegant colours. The guest area also includes two bathrooms, one of them en suite, clad in light grey marble with Devon & Devon bathtub and large showers.
A particular highlight of the upper floor is the golden bathroom. Its upper walls are covered with gold-coloured sheets that lend a vibrant splendour to the room.
Two expansive upstairs terraces provide ample outside space. The top floor of Villa Kampffmeyer offers additional space; plans to develop additional bedrooms have already been drafted and a building permit has been issued. Additionally, the basement area already includes a large apartment for staff use. Furthermore, plans have been drafted for both a private cinema and gym/wellness areas in the basement floor.
The park of Villa Kampffmeyer has been restored to its former glory, following historical blueprints. It now offers grand outside space to the residents of Villa Kampffmeyer.
All photos belong to 16elements Architekturfotografie.