Station:  Palais Wunderlich in the 21st Century
"Palais Wunderlich" is a name for which there is no evidence historically. It was coined by the property’s current owners. But it was not chosen arbitrarily.
It describes what the Hugenberg family set out to do: preserve tradition; connect the old patrician mansion with its history, and take it into the future. The Hugenbergs are bankers, and when they acquired the group of buildings in 2013, it had visibly suffered a lack of investment for decades. The oil-fired heating system and the sanitary facilities were outdated, there was damp in the walls, and the chimneys were clogged with soot. It all needed renovating from the ground up.
The mansion was stripped back to its shell and subjected to structural engineering checks, parts were demolished and rebuilt ... always in compliance with heritage conservation rules. The Hugenbergs converted the old factory into a residential building and ensuring that Palais Wunderlich was once again being used for its original purpose.
Despite the radical measures, they were determined to deal carefully with the ancient walls. Sustainable materials were used and traditional artisanal methods employed. What was already present was reused, and any new materials were sustainably processed.
Of course, there were some critical situations during the four years of building work. Rotting plinth beams, sagging foundations, even a fire. In 2020, the building work was completed, and since then, new life has moved into the old house.
The fact that one or the other floor is out of true, the floorboards creak and many features have a patina of age – all that was deliberate. Regardless of all the amenities, you can sense the age of the house, and that’s a good thing.
Palais Wunderlich may have arrived in the 21st century... but it still remains a historical monument.
All depictions: © Palais Wunderlich