Paulien van Noort

Conversation with Paulien van Noort

We were already sold on Getaway Projects’ great designs on land, when owners Arno Schuurs and Paulien van Noort told us about their latest project: the Marine Cabin. A nautical version of their innovative, stylish and sustainable cabins, it’s a boutique home in motion.

Arno and Paulien started building cabins together because they were, to put it bluntly, fed up with the “monotonous and boring” housing they found around them in Rotterdam. In an effort to switch things up, they decided to create their own surroundings and started with a ship to live on. They called it Qrooz, and it was a fusion of a mobile apartment, office and holiday home. After exploring the Netherlands for a year, they sold Qrooz — but not before it won Best Consumer Design category in the 2007 Dutch Design Awards. They went on to build their own house, three cabins, and three more ships.

Their fifth ship, the Marine Cabin is based between Rotterdam and Stockholm but will also dock in different locations. You can use it as a base for exploring either location, or, if you want to take it on an adventure, ask about hiring your own captain.

We sat down with Paulien to find out more about this innovative project, and here’s what she told us…

paulien van noort

paulien van noort

Why did you decide to start building ships? Do you have a nautical background?

Paulien van Noort: “We don’t have a nautical background. Having a ship means that you can take your home with you anywhere you would like to go (on the water) and it gives freedom. That appealed to us.”

What’s it like building a ship, compared to building a cabin on land?

PVN: “It is harder to build a ship than a cabin. There is a lot of installation work, the design of the ship should be such that you are able to sail safely and stably, and there are different regulations than when building a house. You make the design of the ship and then use a nautical engineer to make sure the ship will be a good ship. The ship is built by a shipyard, and professionals do all the installation work. Then it is in our hands again, and we build the interior with a small group of people. Finishing is about the same as in a house but for the curves of the ship! Arno is in charge of this process.”

Can you tell us about the current ship project?

PVN: “This is our fifth ship. It’s made of aluminum, and 20m long by 5m wide. It has a living space of approximately 60sq.m, a terrace of 20m2 and a upper deck of about 40sq.m, with a huge lounge area. The pilot house is also on the upper deck and is ‘al fresco’. The ship has two bedrooms with built in beds. Each bedroom has a two-person bed and an upper bed that is suitable for two kids or one grown-up. Also the ship has a large bathroom with shower, a kitchen with dining area and a sitting area with wood stove.
“The cabins were our inspiration. With the cabins, we gained a lot of experience how to design a good interior in a small space. We used that experience on the ship. And we just make what we like. We love dark colors as you can see in our cabins (and also in our home that we designed ourselves), but this time we used lighter colors for the ceiling and walls. The floor is fishbone oak, the kitchen has a zinc finishing, and we use leather for the benches.”

You mentioned special chef dinners. What do those involve?

PVN: “Our friends Linda and Linus Sjoberg will take care of the ship in Stockholm. Linda is a chef — and a superb one, we think (we absolutely love her cooking!). It’s Swedish with a modern twist (such as Asian influences) and she mostly uses local ingredients. Linda will provide breakfast, lunches and dinners on request. A chef’s dinner means that she will come onboard and cook. It is possible to cook for up to 12 people. We have a huge kitchen (2x 3.5m long) and a big oak table with leather benches that are 3.5m long.”

Where will the ship be moored?

PVN: “We sailed the ship to Stockholm from the Netherlands, where we built it. A fantastic adventure that we had with our first ship, but this time our kids and a couple of friends came along. The ship will have its base in Bockholmen in Stockholm, with a fantastic view of the Archipelago. But it will also travel! It’s possible to sail the archipelago with the ship of course and also to go to different moorings. A captain will be hired to do the job.”

Paulien van Noort

The Marine Cabin can also be relocated to a setting of your choice. To find out where the Marine Cabin is currently docked, click here. If you haven’t found your sea legs yet, visit one of Getaway’s cabins here.

Any comments?