Villa Oppenheim, situated in Heringsdorf, a spa on the island of Usedom, is one of the finest examples of the historic spa architecture of the German Baltic in dire need of saving because of its bad state of repair and many insensitive modifications over the preceding decades. The new use as a representative private holiday residence revives the tradition of the villa as the abode of the family Oppenheim and artists such as Lionel Feininger and opens up the potential of creating a house all of one piece.
The exterior form of the villa was to be refurbished in line with heritage requirements. At the same time, the representative character of the outside was to be translated into a contemporary interior design. All the more contemporary and appropriate, since both the destruction of the historic interiors by compartmentalised use through simple holiday apartments and the plethora of the ensuing and existing structural damages have made us realise that it would be impossible to create a new identity from the old substance of the building. Therefore we decided to create an interior design that is modern in detail, contrasting strikingly with the exterior, and yet reconstruct the historic spatial ensemble including the visual axes. Thus the interior can be once again experienced as a whole and corresponds to the scale of the villa. The entire stringent integration of all objects within the interior coupled with a reduced haptic materiality dominate the character of tranquility that pervades the interior. This includes kitchens, bathrooms and an in-house wellness area as well as the entire array of details from doors and furniture to objects such as bath tubs. Even series of switches and handles were developed in close cooperation with ERCO lighting. Recalling the historic use as an artist‘s studio, a space was created on the attic floor which includes panoramic glazing and roof terraces and can be used as a meeting place. The object-oriented interior design was custom-made to the wishes of the user. The new identity of the historic building and its interior have lend a new form to Villa Oppenheim and created a unique, representative holiday residence on the Baltic.