On a small island in the North Sea two architects from different countries reimagine and redesign the hayloft of an old farmhouse to create a modern masterpiece. It might sound like a legend, but this is the true story of a contemporary project by Italian Francesco Di Gregorio and Swede Karin Matz.
The little Friesian Island of Föhr, now part of Germany, has a seafaring tradition that dates back to the 17th century. Di Gregorio and Matz drew from local elements of this history, such as blue-green ceramic tiles born from the island’s trading legacy with Asia, to turn a once dark and suffocating space into an airy and light-filled design. By tearing down almost all of the dividing walls and replacing them with one central wall, they created a unified space made cohesive through blue and green accents including tiles, paint, and a threaded staircase frame.
Apparently, the nautical inspiration that drove the project had an even greater influence than the architects originally realized, “Often you only realize after what it is that you have done; we returned in the summer and we realize what we had build. A stranded ship.”