Sigurd Larsen refurbishes 19th-century farm for Michelberger hotel

Danish architect Sigurd Larsen has refurbished the Michelberger Farm in Spreewald, Germany, creating a new wing of guest rooms that reinterprets the redbrick style of the 19th-century complex.

Having already worked on the refurbishment of the Michelberger hotel in Berlin in collaboration with Jonathan Tuckey, Larsen was tasked with replacing a ruin on the site to the west of Berlin with a new building.

Michelberger acquired the site in 2018, with a view to creating a “agricultural and holistic ecosystem” that would both supply ingredients to the brand’s Berlin hotel and provide new spaces for guests to stay and dine.

Exterior view of Michelberger Farm in Spreewald, Germany
Sigurd Larsen has refurbished a ruin on the Michelberger Farm in Germany

“The farm, as it was taken over by the Michelberger team a few year ago, consisted of four wings around an inner court, with all the buildings finished in red bricks,” Larsen told Dezeen.

“The three other buildings were made in red bricks in the 19th century, all with slightly different red tiles on the pitched roofs,” he continued.

“We decided to make a contemporary translation of this building typology leaving the ground floor transparent towards both the inner court and open green fields.”

View of building exterior in GermanyView of building exterior in Germany
Redbrick used for the structure draws on the existing complex

The glazed ground floor contains a large communal dining area, with a long dining table made using recovered wooden beams from the former building and a brick counter and preparation area.

At its eastern end, the building has been intersected by a square viewing tower, rotated so that one of its corners protrudes out of the main building’s roof.

A cut-out for a fireplace has been made at the base of this tower, where it is surrounded by a raised seating area. Inside the tower, a metal staircase leads to the roof, where guests can enjoy views out over the landscape and an outdoor bathtub.

“The tower is the element that connects all levels in a vertical tube,” said Larsen. “Apart from a sculptural staircase it contains all the infrastructure of water, electricity and heating from the open fireplace.”

“The elevated platform is a reference to the many stork nests you see when you visit the area,” he continued. “A stork nest for humans.”

Dining room within Michelberger hotel by Sigurd LarsenDining room within Michelberger hotel by Sigurd Larsen
The dining table was made using wooden beams from the former building

On the first floor, a series of bedrooms have been inserted beneath the building’s steeply pitched roof “like cells in a monastery”, with only the essentials of a bed, lamp and space for a bag.

A balcony hallway alongside the rooms includes desks for working that overlook the communal dining area below, and connects to two shared bathrooms organised around the viewing tower.

Seating area within hotel wing by Sigurd LarsenSeating area within hotel wing by Sigurd Larsen
A series of bedrooms line the building’s first floor

Larsen is an architect who previously worked at architecture firms including OMA, MVRDV and COBE before founding his studio in 2010.

The architect’s previous projects include a woodland cabin for hospitality start-up Raus, and a treetop cabin for Danish hotel Løvtag.

The photography is by Kkrom Services.

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