Colour Research Vol.2
Front doors in the Darß Region
Of traditional craftsmanship, ornaments and bold colour
Prerow, Born and Wieck on the Darß Peninsula on the Baltic Sea are not only characterised by typical architecture with traditional materials, but also have a special feature: many colourful and lovingly designed front doors enrich the townscape. Formerly monochrome, today often painted in bright colours, almost always beautifully decorated with carved ornaments, these doors cause general admiration and cheerfully welcome guests.
With the beginning of seafaring and the resulting economic boom at the end of the 18th century, the first decorated doors with motifs such as anchors, lightning protection symbols, flowers and leaves, fans, meanders, rosettes and palmettes, initials and many other significant ornaments were created. From the middle of the 19th century, a sophisticated design principle correlates with glass infills and elaborate transoms in the door leaves. Elements such as dolphins, crabs, papyrus bundles, pine cones, and pointed arches become typical.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, monochrome varnished doors in dark shades predominated: English red, green, blue-green, dark grey to anthracite, analogous to shipbuilding. The classical ornaments experienced a renaissance from 1930, during which polychromy was now accompanied by striking colours. Since 1990, modern, industrially manufactured doors have often decorated with reliefs that no longer originate from any tradition: lighthouses, seagulls and windwatchers. Now the trend is again increasingly towards hand-carved ornaments based on historical-traditional models, some of which are also applied to prefabricated door elements.
A colourful coat of paint on the entrance door seems to be indispensable for the typical Darß house today!