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The rhythm of the tides

The external structure was already there. But life had to be breathed into it. As a source of inspiration, the uniqueness of the surrounding landscape. For a new holiday home complex, noa* translated the forces of Nordic nature into the language of interior design.

On Sylt, a German island in the North Sea, the tides set the rhythm of the days: wind, water and clouds sketch a fascinating and overwhelming backdrop here. In this scenario, not far from the harbour, where the North Sea meets the Wattenmeer, a row of holiday homes has been built, slightly offset from each other. The houses rise in front of the grassy sand dunes and are characterised by the warm grey tone of the larch wood façade.

The ever-changing landscape of the coastline formed the basis of the interior concept, for which noa* tried to crystallise the ephemeral and constantly shifting impressions given by the changing tides. The result is a kind of snapshot that reflects the flair of the beach and the sea. Patrick Gürtler, the interior designer in charge of Hafen 27 Sylt, was immediately struck by the rapidly changing weather:
Here, black and white merge, creating a plurality of soft beige tones that are characteristic of this place.
(Patrick Gürtler)

HARMONY OF OPPOSITES

It is, therefore, the contrasts that set the tone in this richly detailed interior project. Each of the eleven houses has a total of four floors. Through the entrance, one enters a transverse living area facing the sea and the city on the other. Looking in the latter's direction, the attention is caught by the graphic lines of the oiled oak kitchen with granite worktop. The dark colour of the wood is contrasted by the light floor of Moroccan stone, whose texture is reminiscent of the sand of the dunes. The beige colour is echoed by the fabric shade lamps in the dining area, while the darker tones continue on the opposite side of the living room as long plank flooring in grey oak.
The recall of the materials to drift logs, sand and sails at the same time also makes you feel the wind sweeping the dunes and shaping the clouds.
(Patrick Gürtler)
In the central area of the ground floor, at the interface between the living room and the kitchen with the dining area, many functions come together: arriving, putting away, and being at home. The coat rack for hanging clothes is made from a stretched net, a homage to fishing, while a wall print of a postcard harks back to the beginnings of Sylt's seaside culture. The maritime pattern of swimming costumes worn (or not) at that time often returns as a quotation in the interior. In front of the entrance, the staircase is positioned as the central hub of the house and features a parapet made of a light net and a weave of ropes. The staircase runs up a central lift, allowing people to be transported on all four floors. The wall is embellished with a wooden relief on which circles of different sizes are carved in an optical play, creating a fascinating 3D effect. This is how Patrick Gürtler explains the choice of this motif:
We wanted to develop the motif of the horizon and the convergence of beach and sky. Through the up and down of the lift and the gradual widening and shrinking of the circles, one experiences the feeling of a horizon now closer, now further away.
(Patrick Gürtler)
Finally, to the left of the entrance is the fireplace, suspended over the fire like a lampshade. Inspired by the tiled examples of this region, noa* created this innovative interpretation, whose covering with a real textile was a real challenge.

MARITIME VOCABULARY

Each house has four bedrooms: one on the so-called 'dune floor', naturally lit through a generous light shaft, two on the first floor and the main bedroom on the top floor. Beginning from the 'dune floor', the tale of the maritime world is told, studied down to the smallest detail. Among the selected fabrics is linen, used not only for the curtains but also for the lights, which, in the form of a lantern or sail, were developed especially for this project together with a lighting manufacturer.
In the interiors of these flats, we wanted to communicate the wild beauty of nature and, at the same time, man's ability to tame it. Two forces that meet and become one.
(Patrick Gürtler)
On the first floor, there are two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, separated from each other by the central distribution area. The spaces are fluid; the sleeping area is separated from the bathroom solely by an ornamental construction of ropes fastened on naval cleats. While the bathroom on the lower floor has the light tones of Moroccan desert stone, on the first floor, it is a Belgian blue stone that evokes the experience of the forces of nature and the constant shifting of clouds.

DEEP SPATIAL STAGING

The main bedroom on the top floor is divided into a wellness area and a sleeping area. From the private sauna made of aspen wood and bordered by a weave of ropes, one can look out to sea and follow the dynamic play of clouds. In the distance, you may even recognise the historic railway embankment connecting the island with the mainland. The shower and toilet disappear behind double-mirrored doors, providing privacy and bringing an extraordinarily fascinating perception of space into play.

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Typology: living
  • Location: Sylt (Germany)
  • Available for rent at: hafen27list.de
  • Construction start: June 2020
  • Completion: August 2021
  • Original text (DE): Barbara Jahn-Rösel