Situated within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, at the edge of the water marking the historical boundary between Berlin and Potsdam, with direct views of two of Prussia's famed imperial castles, Villa Kampffmeyer stands as one of the most important private residences in Germany. The original history of the house dates back to1923-24 when it was erected as the first Baroque-inspired private house in the vicinity of Glienicke Bridge across from Babelsberg Castle. The house draws its inspiration from neo-classical and baroque styles, and is framed by a grand entrance portico on one side and a multi-tiered rounded cupola on the other, adorned by a statue of the Greek God Hermes. Villa Kampffmeyer extends over 15,000 square feet of living and usable space set within 2 acres of waterside landscaped gardens with century-old trees - a fitting vis--vis to the park of Babelsberg Castle.
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 faade, 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 spar 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.
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