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From passenger ship to a home | Milkbottle

From passenger ship to a home

Houseboat SA


Our houseboat is renovated by a fantastic firm, Koelhuisfrigo, whose work and projects belongs in design magazines, says Ingeborg. However, they’re still quite unknown. This is partially because they don’t do much PR. What is unique is that they build or manufacture all their designs. Craftsmanship is coming back in style, but for them it’s always their way of thinking in solutions. It protects the client from going with unrealistic designs or ideas that often cost so much more than initially calculated.

They pride themselves in always thinking from the starting point of the bare space; what does it have to offer and what is already there. Designer Teske Clijsen was often more excited about something that was revealed behind old layers than about her own designs and structures. When an existing shutter was revealed in the wall where the kitchen counter becomes a bathroom counter on the other side of the wall. So now you can chat about your day while one of us is in the bathroom and one is in the kitchen – or we can pass along a cup of tea or glass of bubbles when one of us is having a bath.

We wanted to renovate this somewhat complicated industrial space without the ‘White Loft’ as a solution. With such a blank canvas you can easily build a dream boat, but – in our opinion – you also take the soul out of the structure.

It is and will always be a passenger ship from Eastern Germany that used to carry 700 passengers a time on day trips. There was no extra luxury, the food was practical with sausage and pickles, and whatever we could preserve from the functional and old techniques we kept: low ceilings, impractical steps up or down and no straight walls anywhere. We even preserved the old window frames that you need to roll down like you used to do in old cars.

 

 

The red cupboard and table legs have different heights at the ends and in the middle to compensate the floor. The cracks in the ceiling that appear every summer are milled out to give the lines and shadows an extra Mondriaan-esque pattern. Teamed oak kitchen counter and tabletop are filled with yellow epoxy – not removed, but emphasized. The difference in height between the kitchen counter and the dining table is given extra attention by connecting them with a wooden wave shape.
left The red cupboard and table legs have different heights at the ends and in the middle to compensate the floor. The cracks in the ceiling that appear every summer are milled out to give the lines and shadows an extra Mondriaan-esque pattern. Teamed oak kitchen counter and tabletop are filled with yellow epoxy – not removed, but emphasized.
right The difference in height between the kitchen counter and the dining table is given extra attention by connecting them with a wooden wave shape.
Detail of the kitchen.
Detail of the kitchen.
Many “problems” such as a bulging floor, height differences between counter and dining table, a concrete floors with cracks, a ceiling that shrinks or expands with the seasons were approached by exaggerating and emphasizing the problem instead of using Band-Aid solutions to cover the wounds. The result is that the problem becomes beautiful.
Many “problems” such as a bulging floor, height differences between counter and dining table, a concrete floors with cracks, a ceiling that shrinks or expands with the seasons were approached by exaggerating and emphasizing the problem instead of using Band-Aid solutions to cover the wounds. The result is that the problem becomes beautiful.

Images: Jansje Klazinga via Taverne Agency. Text: Ingeborg Mout- van Lieshout

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