Anyone who has taken a stroll along Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm will have come across a number of landmark buildings, both old and new (and often a combination of the two). From the Filmbühne Wien, now home to Apple’s flagship Berlin store, to the Mendelsohn Building at Lehniner Platz, home to the Schaubühne Theatre, with hundreds of the city’s characteristic, pre-1918 Altbaus in between. One such striking building is Haus Cumberland, at Ku’damm 194, roughly halfway between Bleibtreustraße and Schlüterstraße and home to Capital Language Solutions.
Haus Cumberland – Grand designs
Haus Cumberland was built in 1911 to provide serviced apartments, a blend of city living with the convenience of a hotel. Designed by Robert Leibnitz, the same architect who designed the prestigious Hotel Adlon on Unter der Linden, the front of the building is 60 metres wide, with the rest of the building stretching back 180 metres to Lietzenberger Straße, incorporating three expansive and elaborate courtyards along the way. Unfortunately, the original business plan was not successful and the original owner went bankrupt before Haus Cumberland even opened its doors for the first time.
Haus Cumberland – An Eventful history
Haus Cumberland has reinvented itself many times over since its faltering beginnings. It has been a grand hotel, headquarters of the Kaiser’s Arms Procurement Agency, a post office building, home to the German Ministry of Economics, a theatre and cinema complex and eventually, finding stability between 1966 and 2003, the offices of a variety of local government departments. During the first decade of the new century, much of the building was unoccupied, apart from the street front shop space on the ground floor.
Haus Cumberland – Where we are today
Since then there have been a couple of changes of ownership and a number of plans (and revised plans) that have finally led to the glorious, and successful, operation of the building today as a combination of residential space (in the rear sections of the property), and office and retail space. Haus Cumberland was extensively renovated and modernised from 2010-2012 and great care was taken to restore many of the building’s original features. As a listed building, stringent regulations were adhered to during the building works. Nevertheless, a fire in the attic of one of the buildings slowed things down, although, happily, no one was seriously injured. Today, Haus Cumberland is home to a range of companies, Roland Mary’s famous cafe, restaurant and bar, Grosz Berlin, two large ground-floor shops and countless condominiums and apartments. There are lots of buildings along Kurfürstendamm, but few have had such a long and colourful history as Haus Cumberland.
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