Carloft is an apartment with a difference in the Kreuzberg region of Berlin, on the corner of Liegnitzer Straße and Reichenberger Straße. As its name implies, this is an apartment where you can park your car in a lofty position – right outside your apartment, irrespective of which floor that might be on. The car (in my case, the BMW X4 which I was driving as part of the #BMWstories campaign) is driven into a lift and reversed back out on to a balcony, from where you can enter the accommodation.
I was welcomed at the airport by representatives of BMW and driven to the Carloft. It was interesting to hear not only about all the amazing features of the BMW X4, but also about the Carloft and how it has an international patent – not on the concept of having a lift for a car, but on the configuration of how this is achieved.
This isn’t just a room but a spacious apartment, owned and designed by Frank Dittel. It is his own personal residence when he is in Berlin, but he spends some of his time in Stuttgart also. A feature wall in the lounge offers a bold statement as you enter, and the futuristic kitchen/bar provides ample space to entertain.
There is also a dining table with seating for up to 8 people should you wish to hold a dinner party.
The loft is used for commercial purposes but also has a luxurious private wing that includes a simple, open plan sleeping area with a low-lying bed.
The bedroom extends into the bathroom where there is a twin basin, rain shower, lovely bath and WC. Toiletries provided included Alpecin Tuning Shampoo designed, I’m sure, to look like engine oil – a nice touch given that I was there to work for BMW!
There’s an additional bathroom and an outdoor decking area (aside from the balcony for the car). Also, hidden away from the kitchen, is a small library/study, with a smattering of books about design and the city of Berlin.
Other nice touches
Of course, the lift to your apartment – with your car – is what really makes this apartment quite unique. This isn’t as lazy as it might seem – it’s actually quite practical. There was no way to accommodate all the vehicles in the base of the building so this seemed like a logical – if a little ambitious – solution. The upshot of this though is a number of practical benefits. You can unload your shopping directly to your kitchen. You can get your kids to and from the car in complete safety – particularly ideal if you have little ones – and you can pack for a trip away without doing several trips up and down the stairs.
Although the lift spaces are quite narrow, there was ample space for the BMW X4 that I was driving (even if Christine doesn’t look too convinced in the photo!) and the car’s ‘bird’s eye view’ on the screen display inside the car made navigating in and out of the space much, much easier. That particular feature really comes into its own here. An integrated camera system – with cameras strategical positioned around the car – allows you to see the car in plan view on the interior display. This helped me to see exactly how close I was to the walls of the lift on each side of the vehicle.
Driving into the Carloft lift…
Heading up to the apartment in the lift…
Parked outside the apartment, having reversed out of the lift…
The apartment is not available for rent like a hotel room or self-catering apartment so there is no published tariff available.
The final verdict
A novel but practical way to accommodate a vehicle when city living space is limited.