Dreams between sky and clay earth
When you spend the night in the treetops, leaves peek through the windows. Glimpses of the sky peek through the leaves and you can hardly be closer to nature than this. Nature is omnipresent in the lovingly renovated old mill buildings too, where you can dine, linger or spend the night – in the form of natural building materials such as wood and earthen clay.
Dream (vacation) house in a renovated mill
It all started with an old “rattle” mill (so-called due to the sound it made when grinding grain) on the outskirts of the village Weickersgrüben in the Bavarian Spessart. The owners Stephan Schulze and Ulrike Schupp have put in a great deal of commitment and elbow grease in order to turn it into a holiday home.
For the renovation of the half-timbered building from 1632, the owners naturally opted for earthen clay – the building material that the original builder also chose. Thanks to its moisture-regulating properties, clay earth protects the timber structure of the house framework.
The affectionately nicknamed “Hexenhäuschen” or witch’s house comfortably accommodates up to six people. A fireplace, the half-timbering that is also visible in the house interior and the bedrooms in the gable create a rustic, cosy atmosphere.
The dream of living in and with nature
The owners could have stopped with the renovation of the “Hexenhäuschen” – but they had caught the restoration bug. When they discovered a dilapidated water mill about five kilometres away, they bought it too and a plan for an oasis of relaxation in nature was formed.
For the conversion of the more than 300-year-old half-timbered house into dining and conference rooms, the historic wooden frame was exposed. It turned out that some of the beams were rotten. Fortunately, it was possible to replace them with old oak beams from the adjacent tumbled-down barn. When rebuilding the framework, tried and tested natural building materials were also used: clay-earth bricks, clay plaster and reeds.
Enjoy nature with all your senses
To finance the project, a treehouse hotel was built next to the historical buildings. The six treehouses with own baths can accommodate up to four people each. Breakfast is enjoyed in the old mill building itself. The mill building also has meeting space for up to 40 people.
During the day, the forest is ideal for hiking. Visit and take in a sparkling little waterfall to the north. In the evening you can close out the day at the lakeside barn. This too is a half-timbered house that was rebuilt on the millpond. Here, too, clay earth was used as a building material – a completely natural way to increase well-being.Read more »
Claytec earth building materials fulfil the dream of ecological building
Clay earth has proven itself time and time again in half-timbered construction. It is ideal for the restoration of historical half-timbered buildings such as the old mills. The combination of the wood frame with earthen clay, which regulates the moisture in the construction, usually means that chemical wood protection can be dispensed with. Where possible, original clay-earth materials can be recycled, mixed with modern clay-earth and then reused.
For the reconstruction and new construction of the half-timbered walls in the mill buildings, lightweight reed panels were used as interior insulation in addition to clay earth and clay plaster from Claytec. These reed panels improve the thermal insulation and the surface temperature of the exterior walls. They were pressed fully into a bed of plastered clay. The wall surfaces were then coated with brush plaster. Reed matting was also partially installed as reinforcement.