Die Reederin Lübeck
Haufe Petereit Architekten
Period stock as source of potential
Builders’ clients Nina and Andreas Dietze share a love of old buildings steeped in the passage of time with architects Jörg Haufe and Nicola Petereit, as they do the passion for design that is likely to grip anyone encountering such an ancient building. The two parties have now joined forces to judiciously repurpose a former shipping company premises in Lübeck as a family-run hotel they’ve dubbed the Reederin (“Shipper”). The Lübeck-based Haufe Petereit practice tasked with performing the job specialises in respectfully revitalising period structures.
Hilde, Paula, Anni… – the hotel’s seven rooms bear the names of ships that once plied the seas for the company. Information plaques in the various rooms provide details of each ship’s history. Maritime elements are likewise to be encountered in the interior design. Steering well clear of depictions of seagulls, a modern, abstractionist mode has been adopted in a “lighthouse red, Baltic blue and pale sky grey” scheme. Particularly worthy of note are the red container walls in the bathrooms – originally built to keep the water out, they now function as shower partitions.
The architects always view dealing with older buildings as an opportunity. Listed structural fabric does not act as a confining corset here but as a source of potential. Just how much potential there is to be tapped can be seen by the way they proceeded for their own house: the old timber flooring was not sanded down and is still sprinkled with paint from the decorating business that once operated from the premises. Old radiator pipes, layers of paint on the walls, a bespattered board – all bear eloquent testimony to the place’s past.
Architecture and Object
Jörg Haufe and Nicola Petereit
Photo: © Haufe Petereit Architekten
“Treating what’s already there with respect leads to the past and present co-existing in the same time plane,” is how Nicola Petereit and Jörg Haufe explain their approach to history. “When a space is used in a new way it acquires a new history, the building becomes increasingly multi-layered with each succeeding generation.”
Architecture as holistic work (of art)
The age-old safe in “Ursula”, the room in which the decorators’ accounts were kept, is just one example of what has been retained in the Reederin. The timber coffered doors from a large old countinghouse cupboard have been converted into bedheads. The Gotland panels in the lobby are similarly relics from the past. The old workroom and former office archives have been turned into communal spaces in the hotel, their period feel imbuing it with a sense of being very special indeed. The interior design is agreeably well-conceived down to the last detail, very much in line with FSB’s own philosophy of end-to-end cohesiveness. The large selection of fine design and wide variety of finishes supplied by FSB enable architectural ideas to be put to effect in full.
“We sought to juxtapose the old and the new in the hotel,” the architects explain. This also involved us creating a counterpoint to existing brass finishes in the building. Blasted Aluminium Black Anodised was chosen for the handle fittings, a finish that very closely resembles the hard graphite material used for the hotel’s various accessory fittings. The FSB 1106 door lever with circular rose was fitted, a model that “transposes a typical period Lübeck handle into a modern shape and in the process remains timeless,” as the architects put it. “The fact that we are so fond of employing this handle by Christoph Mäckler in Lübeck’s listed buildings speaks volumes.
It has a suitably accentuating effect, underlines the element of renewal in the refurbishment and yet blends in serenely with its older surroundings.”
Nina and Andreas Dietze won the 2022 Builder’s Client prize awarded by the Historic Cities Working Group for the overhaul and conversion of the premises into the “Die Reederin” hotel. The prize honours outstanding commitment displayed by clients in either renovating an older building in any of six listed city centres (Lübeck, Regensburg, Bamberg, Meissen, Stralsund or Görlitz) or else contributing with appropriate new-build ventures.
Teaser and photo 1: © Haufe Petereit Architekten, photos 2 to 11: © Daniela Bunu