- Architecture & development
In Nieby Crofters Cottage, a rural retreat on the Baltic coast of Germany, the residence’s soul is respected without compromising on contemporary living comfort. A calm aesthetic is achieved by using light, earthy colours, and natural materials.
The residence was designed by the Danish-German architect Jan Hendrik Jansen and Marshall Blecher, an architect from Australia. Jansen works on several international projects, where he designs geometric homes that focus on a calm atmosphere and warm materials. They also fit perfectly into their surroundings. That is exactly what he and Blecher did in Nieby Crofters Cottage. We find here a unity with nature and attention for beautiful materials. Surrounded by barley fields and a nature reserve where wild horses and deer roam the marshlands, the scenery is impressive to say the least. The authentic thatched-roof house has a long history. The cottage was originally built by tenant farmers in the 1800s. When the current owners bought the house, it had been abandoned for more than a decade and was in a dilapidated state. Some ceilings in the house were so low you could not stand up straight, the roof had partially collapsed, and over the years several barns had been added to the back of the house. The owners' wishes were obvious: a contemporary country home that also respects the house's history. The result takes all those wishes into account. The architects retained the residence's street façade, which received a minimal, black steel dormer. The living space, which made extensive use of oak, is located under the thatched roof in a subtle black-framed extension. In turn, the old, brick section received many large windows in places damaged by the previous extension.
The living space is located under the thatched roof in a subtle black-framed extension
The kitchen and dining room were created by turning the middle of the house, which first consisted of fourteen small rooms, into one large space. The high ceilings make an immediate impression, as does the six-metre-long concrete plinth that functions as a kitchen island and dining table. The latter had to be lowered into the house by a crane while the roof was being renovated. The historicity of the residence also comes out in the interior, for instance in the small wooden windows and oak rafters. German oak was chosen for the joinery, doors, and furniture to match the floor, while the walls are finished with plenty of texture. A final big plus is that German sustainability standards were taken into account. The owners of Nieby Crofters Cottage mainly stay here at weekends, to fully unwind after a busy worki week. In this beautiful setting, where a calm atmosphere is prioritised, this will certainly be an easy task.
Photography by Jose Campos