Built in 1941, this signal box stood empty for over 60 years - becoming a denkmal in this time - after the railway was decommissioned. Many in the area knew and admired its striking architecture, strolling past it on their walks in the Ringelstein forest. David was one such person, having grown up to 2km away. He knew he wanted to create a space that he could transform into a modern, unique hideaway from those looking to switch off and enjoy nature, so when he found the signal box listed for sale on a railway foundation’s website, the decision to buy and preserve it was a no brainer. After over three years of renovation, supported by family, friends and local craftsmen, Ringelstein Railway Retreat was ready for guests.
The results are stunning: a truly romantic retreat with modern interiors, a cosy fireplace and a sprawling terrace surrounded by dense forest. Throughout the split-level apartment, you find nods to the signal box’s former life, such as old signs, lots of iron and bits of machinery, and these are carefully balanced with soft furnishing in blues and greens that help to bring the outside in. Spend your days exploring the natural beauty of the region, which is the gateway to Sauerland, before curling up to watch the stars or wood crackle in the fire. Bliss.
“My parents' house is about 2 km from this former signal box, so I knew it from my childhood. So it was incredibly exciting that - when I was looking for a new project - I found the signal box on sale via a railway foundation.”
“The quarry-stone exterior and wooden boarding make the building so unique.”
David’s insider tips
Ringelstein Railway Retreat is located in Büren, at the entrance to Sauerland.
You can easily drive and park in front of the house.
Arriving with public transport is possible, but you will have to change a few times and get some buses. The closest bus stop is Bür-Ringelstein, Eichenweg, which is a 1-minute walk from Ringelstein Railway Retreat.