Di Gregorio & Matz: an interior in Föhr

With 3,200 hand drilled tiles, 500 metres of blue polypropylene rope and a pine wood layer, young architects Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz have recently transformed an old barn into a luminous holiday house.

Young architects Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz have recently completed the renovation of an old barn in Föhr, a small island in Friesland, Germany. Leaving the brick wall and thatched roof outer shell practically, the young Italian-Swedish duo focused on the conversion of the upper floor into a proper holiday residence. Three simple elements dramatically change the space: a wooden frame covered with 3,200 tiles — drilled by hand by the two architects —, 500 metres of blue polypropylene rope, and a pine wood layer.

"A school of navigation was founded in Föhr in the 17th century," said the architects, "and the use of ceramic tiles arrived to the island via the trips conducted to Asia". Since then, the blue and the green wood commonly used in interior rooms started to be paired with decorative walls made of ceramic elements.

Inspired by this specific vernacular tradition, Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz introduced in the existing building two volumes harbouring the bedrooms, among which stands a large kitchen. Aligning itself with the Nordic tradition, which provides an extremely protected atmosphere for the private areas, the bedrooms here are designed like boxes. Wrapped in a coating of blue wood, and featuring translucent doors, they act like lanterns, illuminating the circulation space.

This interior path is designed as a place for relaxation and flows smoothly into the living area, in which — due to the large ceiling height — the new "intrusions" explicitly reveal their presence.
Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz, reconversion of an old barn, Alkersum, Föhr, Germany 2012
Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz, reconversion of an old barn, Alkersum, Föhr, Germany 2012
Francesco Di Gregorio & Karin Matz: an interior in Föhr, Germany
Client: private
Site: Alkersum, Föhr, Germany
Architects: Francesco Di Gregorio, Karin Matz
Construction: NCE Bygg AB
Electricity: Jörg Kottke dba Elektro Kottke
Water plant: Heizungsbau Domeyer
Built Area: 85 square metres
Completion: 2012
Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz, reconversion of an old barn, Alkersum, Föhr, Germany 2012
Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz, reconversion of an old barn, Alkersum, Föhr, Germany 2012
Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz, reconversion of an old barn, Alkersum, Föhr, Germany 2012
Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz, reconversion of an old barn, Alkersum, Föhr, Germany 2012
Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz, reconversion of an old barn, Alkersum, Föhr, Germany 2012
Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz, reconversion of an old barn, Alkersum, Föhr, Germany 2012
Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz, reconversion of an old barn, Alkersum, Föhr, Germany 2012
Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz, reconversion of an old barn, Alkersum, Föhr, Germany 2012
Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz, reconversion of an old barn, Alkersum, Föhr, Germany 2012
Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz, reconversion of an old barn, Alkersum, Föhr, Germany 2012
Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz, reconversion of an old barn, Alkersum, Föhr, Germany 2012
Francesco Di Gregorio and Karin Matz, reconversion of an old barn, Alkersum, Föhr, Germany 2012

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