Houseboat - Holmen

On the waterfront in the middle of Copenhagen, just outside the Opera and the Royal Academy of Architects, architect Bjarke Ingels have his Copenhagen base on his houseboat “Bukken Bruse”. Here he installed 150 m2 of handmade MAROKK cement tiles in a raw, blue concrete tone, on the entire deck of the old island ferry.

The cool matte and dusty surface on the entire ground deck of the boat, is high quality cement tiles made by hand by skilled artisans in Marrakech, Morocco. Installed in a herringbone pattern, the tiled surface brings the various parts of the large room on the ground deck together, and connects it to the sea outside the boat.

Bjarke Ingels chose the same tile and herringbone pattern in the bathroom on the first floor, but in a lighter and warmer colour tone. He installed the STIX Fog cement tile throughout the bedroom on the first floor, where you have a magnificent view of the Copenhagen harbour.

MAROKK cement tiles are handmade in Marrakech, in a small factory owned and operated by an American couple, living in Morocco for the past 15 years. The tiles are made to the highest quality, and with deep respect for craftsmanship and tradition. The concrete from which the cement tiles are made, is pressed under high pressure for a few seconds and then cured for 21 days in a steam room with 100% humidity and 28 degrees.

The STIX handmade cement tiles were the perfect choice of floor tile in the transformation of the old island ferry into a unique, modern home. The metal walls of the boat are well complementedl with the raw and industrial concrete surface of the cement tiles. And the large portholes with sea view creates a connection between the water and the blue tile, “STIX North Sea”

Some customers are concerned about the patination of cement tiles, but with the right sealing and wax treatment, handmade cement tiles just get more beautiful over time. The surface of the tiles can be cleaned and rinsed with special cleaning products. It is during these cleanings, maybe every 2-4 years, followed by the wax treatment, that the patina on the tiles develops. Which architects like Bjarke Ingels understand and appreciate. Or as a popular Danish musician and comedian puts it: “When I buy a new car, the first thing I do is take the car key and make a scratch in the car paint.  Then it’s done and over…..”.

In wet areas, e.g. on the floor in the shower niche, we only recommend installing cement tiles if the client understands and appreciates the often somewhat rough patination, that can occur around floor drains in the shower niche