To guarantee that even the tiniest details of their high-end properties are given a special touch, RALF SCHMITZ relies upon the finest switch systems made in Germany’s Sauerland region.
Everything has been given such careful consideration! The wall color in sync with the wood floors, the natural stone in the kitchen matched to the wall color, the sofa landscape in the generous living space that goes with the elegant fireplace surround and this in turn with the wall color, the flooring and the stone. And yet, as soon as everything is finished, it’s immediately obvious: the switch system! Too white, too chunky and utterly charmless, it is prominently displayed in every corner of each tastefully decorated room. We all know this feeling – but not from the elegant interiors of RALF SCHMITZ. The firm always manages to find functional yet beautiful elements that recede tastefully into the background. Subtle shapes and high-quality materials underscore the aesthetic of classically modern architecture that the firm is known for.
“Simpler isn’t always better – but the best is always simple.”
Heinrich Tessenow, architect 1876—1950
The Berker firm is the ultimate supplier for a demanding building project. Their switch systems combine elegant design with an exquisite feel, captivating the user with a choice of highest-quality materials. From plastic to porcelain, from glass to metal, a custom solution awaits for every kind of development.
The company, based in Schalksmühle in the Sauerland region of western Germany, has been a longtime supplier of custom switch systems for RALF SCHMITZ’s Exceptional Homes. In the magnificent EISENZAHN I development, not far from Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm, countless switches from the Berker TS series in blackened brass were installed. To underscore the exotic flair of the new ALEXANDER development, interior designer Oliver Jungel relied exclusively on Berker switches in a special matt brass finish that matched the light fixtures in the building’s hallways.
Both companies share more than just an aesthetic, namely a practical functionality and a clear commitment to the needs of people in their homes. But despite the long company tradition on both sides, they haven’t always seen eye to eye in terms of taste. The RALF SCHMITZ firm was founded in 1884, when Peter Heinrich Schmitz built churches, hospitals, factories and villas. At the time, our founder would probably have agreed with Robert Venturi’s saucy response to Mies van der Rohe’s minimalism: “Less is a bore!” In our developments countrywide today, however, the Miesian spirit is also occasionally a guiding light. As the great German architect Heinrich Tessenow, who studied with the firm’s founder, once stated: “Simpler isn’t always better – but the best is always simple.”
Stylistically in sync now, our projects with Berker continue to show that in order to create great architecture with great details, great partners are essential.