Stay in a Renovated, Sea-Inspired Frisian Apartment in a Former Hay Storage Barn

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By Michele Koh Morollo / Published by Dwell
The small Nordfriesland island of Föhr in the North Sea used to hold a 17th-century navigation school and was home to a large number of sea captains that embarked on voyages to Asia and North America. Many of them returned home with ceramics and tiles from Asia, which were implemented into the local home decor on the island.

The sea has inspired many traditional Frisian homes, which often have wood interiors painted in blues and greens, small and dark box-bed rooms for sleeping, and brick exteriors with thatched roofs. 

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Sitting in this remote destination is "Suederweg 7", a cozy and contemporary vacation rental apartment that reflects the location’s maritime heritage in an intriguing way. 

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Located within a restored, former hay storage barn in a village called Alkersumm, the apartment's design was a collaborative effort between Swedish architect Karin Matz and Italian architect Francesco Di Gregorio

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The duo remodeled the entire space with a wood structure, which they covered with 3,200 tiles—a typical wall surface used in traditional Frisian homes. 

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Each of the tiles has a hand-drilled hole that reveals the blue-colored paint of the cement application underneath it. The same shade of blue is used for the polypropylene ropes, which are employed as staircase "rails," giving the interiors a maritime feel. 

The bedrooms, which follow the same nautical blue-and-white color scheme, resemble alcove cabin beds. 

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Matz and Di Gregorio demolished all the walls except for those surrounding the bathroom in order to open up the space. The white tiles reflect the light that enters the interiors, brightening up the main living areas. 

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A new volume was added, which includes a central wall that runs along the entire space, unifying the various functional zones. This wall is covered with the same white ceramic tiles. 

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The blue circle peeking out from the center of each tile creates a simple pattern on the wall that brings to mind the backsides of Lego blocks. 

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Translucent doors for the bedrooms and the gaps between the blue ropes of the "stair rail" make the apartment highly transparent and help connect the various rooms visually. 

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The bedrooms, which are fashioned like the traditional, dimly-lit Frisian box beds, have snug, nest-like atmospheres—making them perfect for snoozing. 

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Matz and Di Gregorio both believe that the apartment resembles a ship that’s been stranded on shore, but in the most delightful way. 

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The apartment is available for rent through Urblaubsarchitektur.

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