A gem in Lübeck’s World Heritage Site
Fischstraße leads from the Old Town hill below St. Mary’s down to the Trave river. The area around this street is known as the Founding quarter. It was first mentioned in Lübeck archives in 1263 as platea piscium. Finds unearthed during excavations in the 2010s suggest that the first settlers built their wooden houses here around 1180.
Until well into the 20th century, there were Gothic and Renaissance gabled houses in Fischstraße, but they were completely destroyed in March 1942. Only in recent years has the face of this area, which is so characteristic of Lübeck, been restored: The appearance of many of the new facades and building structures on the total of 38 properties is based on the destroyed buildings.
Today I’m on my way for the LÜBECK ZWISCHENZEILEN to the house with the number 22, where Lars Eckloff and Katrin Dücker-Eckloff have realized their dream of a sustainability-oriented bed & breakfast hotel with The Layhead.
The hotel manager welcomes me in a light-flooded room, where the guests of the house can have their breakfast under numerous flower hanging baskets or lean back in comfortable armchairs with a book. On the walls hang large-format pictures from the opposite gallery per-seh which immediately help to start a conversation with each other.
Katrin Dücker-Eckloff feels very lucky to be able to realize her project at this special location in Lübeck. For several years, she already had the idea in her heart to start her own business, but first she spent a long time traveling the world as a multi-award-winning editor for documentary films. In 2017, the Dücker-Eckloff couple turned dreams into concrete plans when they applied for the property in Fischstraße in the direct vicinity of the imposing mother church of brick Gothic St. Mary’s.
Katrin shows me an armchair whose cover is covered all over with animal motifs and laughingly says that she has already edited a documentary about each of the animals.
Many of the experiences she made on her trips have been incorporated into the design of the Bed&Breakfast. From the building materials used, such as volcanic stone slabs and clay plaster, and the lighting concept to the furniture and her own role as hostess: no aspect was left to chance. In addition, strict specifications from the city had to be adhered to. Commercial and residential activities are to be harmonized in the Founders’ Quarter according to historical models. For example, the rooms on the first floor have a ceiling height of 4.50 meters – also a requirement of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck.
Scandinavian ambience meets Bauhaus
The Layhead has eight exclusive rooms, including one suite. All are designed in a colourful restrained design. Bauhaus and Scandinavian design are brought together here. Katrin Dücker-Eckloff skillfully mixes second-hand finds with high-quality furniture, some of which is custom-made. In the feel-good rooms with high functionality, there is an atmosphere of lightness.
The predominant colour is a classy skylight blue that takes on a different accent depending on the time of day and lighting conditions. The shade, which Katrin Dücker-Eckloff has always loved just as much as the northern German landscape, is intended to remind people of the Nordic sky. The light blue looks harmonious and almost meditative in combination with the exquisite white bed linen and the furniture in soft gray.
The idea behind this is that most guests at The Layhead come back to their temporary home with so many impressions and a head full of images from their forays into Lübeck’s cultural life that the unobtrusive setup of the rooms gives plenty of space to let the impressions take effect.
Home for a time
Katrin Dücker-Eckloff radiates the serene relaxation of someone who knows she is on the right track. With this attitude she meets the guests of The Layhead, to whom she not only gives personal recommendations for a stay in Lübeck. She caters to the individual needs of the people who come to her. A train is late and there is no restaurant open late at night?
No problem: a soup is quickly prepared for the hungry arrival. Prefer a little more fruit and no cold cuts for breakfast? Nothing easier than that. There is no standard breakfast. It is very important to Katrin Dücker-Eckloff to act as a wish granter wherever possible. She succeeds with ease. After all, she knows how wonderful it feels when wishes come true.