About a Place Designed to Rest

and other current affairs, we talked to MagdaBinder, founder of the chillout village in Stare Sady

Hard times came unexpectedly… We have not experienced anything like this ever before – the world is slowing down rapidly,
the economy is a big unknown, much is being said about reorganising our life. What is the spring like in Stare Sady during the pandemic? What does Mazury region look like, what is in the air?
It is peaceful in Stare Sady, life goes on with its own slow pace. Repair, renovation and gardening works are underway. We are preparing the beach, we want everything to be well-organised for the guests we expect in the Summer. I don’t know what it is like in other places, I isolate myself a little, also from too much information. I have news from Mikołajki from my team. They tell me the streets are empty, people are squatting in their homes and they are waiting for what comes next. Parents are nervous about home schooling of children, for which no one was prepared, and our completely outdated education system is not suitable for either. I hear that more and more people lose their jobs. It is a tourist region, here everything revolves around tourists. Hotels, guesthouses, guest rooms, restaurants and all the infrastructure that serves them, shops, sailing and motorboat service points – they are all empty and the biggest costs are employee wages. Anxiety about losing our job causes fear that we might soon not be able to get money for food, which has become more expensive. People are really afraid of hunger. We’ve all got used to the availability of all goods, and these circumstances
are new to us…

I can’t get out of my mind a sentence uttered by Olga Tokarczuk during her Nobel speech in Stockholm: “Something is wrong
with this world.” It was said in October. A global epidemic broke out in December… Nature seems to be slightly annoyed.
Would you agree with this?
I think that nature should not be blamed, but people. Unless we look at it this way: greed lies in the nature of people…

This “wrong” also seems to concern the idea of the planned Ełk-Mrągowo transit route passing through Mikołajki
and the surrounding area. This area is occupied by nature reserves, swamps, lakes. What do you think about this?
Maybe the people who came up with this idea have not had a good rest for a long time 🙂 I often go to the hill in Notysta, where the construction of a large bridge with a pylon like the Palace of Culture has been planned. It is the most beautiful place for me in Mazury. I love to look down at the shimmering patches of lakes, islands, forests that seem endless. Views of nature untouched by human activity are soothing and have a positive impact on our health and mental balance, it has been scientifically proven. Everyone needs such views, without big bridges, trucks, noise and the smell of exhaust fumes. Roads are also needed, but are they needed there? Apparently, the most expensive variant was chosen. Is this greed again? Someone wants to ruin this beautiful space forever. What is their purpose?

I may have started with some unpleasant questions, please forgive me, but they are very up to date. Now I would like
to ask you about more peaceful topics – about your Village, for starters. Because you have just created a summer village – a few houses standing not on a closed plot, but near regular public roads. Detached houses for rent (which you built yourself). It’s quite unusual and very open in reception…

Yes, six houses are a big village 🙂That’s what I wanted it to look like. I didn’t want to interfere with the look and mood of the idyllic countryside, so it couldn’t be a big guest house, and I wanted to offer accommodation to over 80 guests. I designed Sady for people, who want to get away from the crowd, haste and slow down a little. Therefore, you can rent the whole house here, with its own garden, or an apartment in a log house, which looks like a century-old cottage, and hide in a green garden. Nothing soothes your nerves and calms you down like looking at greenery. But if you want to be close to others, there are many places to hang out together – a bar where you will find board games, delicious coffee and homemade cake, club and billiard rooms. We are also launching a large library this season. And the beach, my youngest child.

Do you have special plans for the summer in relation to the current circumstances?
I don’t have a special plan. As usual, with my wonderful team, we are ready to welcome guests at any time and surround them
with care and protection.

On your website, you write mysteriously: “Sand, the sound of water, grass under a blanket, deckchairs and something to float on. But that’s not all…”
Will you tell us more?
I won’t tell you, it’s too early. My dream is that my guests’ need for rest is fully satisfied, that they do not have to and do not want
to go anywhere. At the moment, it’s all on paper and I have an idea how not to “clutter” the space, which is the biggest treasure to me.

You saw a Solemaran for the first time at the Good Design exhibition at the Institute of Industrial Design in Warsaw. Now you will own another, bigger model – Coco. It’s great for us that Solemarans are appreciated by designers and sailors, like you. And what interested you in Solemaran?
As a sailor – nothing 🙂There was no flap of sails, no wind in my hair… At the exhibition, many years ago, I saw something extraordinary for those times – a coherent design, elegant in its simplicity, beautiful details, careful finishing. I was delighted
with the idea, simple enough to be brilliant. To rock on the water lazily in the sun, or without it – who would not dream about it?
As the years passed, I forgot about this project, for I love sailing… But when the decision was made to create a beach, the old emotions came back. I didn’t hesitate a moment, I knew immediately that Solemaran would be our star.

Where would you go on a summer Solemaran cruise?
It would be a cruise without a destination. Listening to splashing water, absorbing vitamin D from the sun, contemplation of my stillness against the movement of the waves and air. Of course, with a basket full of treats and a good summer wine. Maybe to the nearby reeds?

You come from Warsaw – do you enjoy living in Mazury? Why did you decide to move?
Such a decision was made only last fall. I packed my Warsaw apartment and now I have all my belongings in Sady. I didn’t realise
there were so many of them! I used to be an urban animal, I couldn’t imagine living without a city, but when I gradually started to go outside it, I noticed that I didn’t want to hurry anymore, the noise irritates me and the air just stinks. It is different here, things are not so urgent. Time flows noticeably, and at the same time the tree, lake, earth exist. This is soothing. I would like my guests to see it too and enjoy this relief. I am convinced that people need this close contact with nature to live. Even if it lasts only for a weekend.

Changes… you are creating a private beach, and nearby, in Mikołajki, a modern waterfront is being built. To be honest,
I can’t wait for the Summer to see all this completed. Is there any more news? What will the Summer 2020 be like?
I also wonder what the new waterfront in Mikołajki will look like. You must visit our beach. There will be comfortable beds, umbrellas, lanterns. I would like it to be fairy-tale-like, if the wind allows. I am also thinking about blankets and picnic baskets. Such a picnic by the water is a nice thing, not to mention the possibility of having a picnic on a Solemaran. Yes, the upcoming summer will bring, first and foremost, good food. We have a new chef and I think that, from now on, people from the entire neighbourhood will visit our Bar.

Would you like to ask us a question?
I hope you continue to grow, because I am already thinking about expanding our fleet. Maybe you have some new projects up your sleeve?

JK: Of course, something is going on all the time. New things are planned, they will probably be launched officially soon. And the Solemaran Fleet… sounds nice 🙂 Thank you very much and I’m glad you remembered the vessel you saw at the exhibition 6 years ago… Good luck with the new Bar (I can’t wait to visit it) and see you soon!

The interview with MagdaBinder – interior designer, she has been living in Stare Sady since … She created a real holiday village on Lake Tałty. Houses and apartments with their private beach and a restaurant are planned there. A gem near Mikołajki. By Joanna Krawczyk