Shared tra­di­tions

This Danish hol­i­day home is built us­ing ar­ti­sanal tech­niques com­mon to both Scan­di­navia and Ja­pan, cre­at­ing an aes­thetic that val­ues the min­i­mal and the mod­est

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents - Words KARINE MONIÉ Photography IDA SCH­MIDT/HOUSE OF PIC­TURES Styling HANNE VIND

This Danish hol­i­day home is built us­ing tech­niques com­mon to both Scan­di­navia and Ja­pan

Din­ing area The ta­ble from Gen­byg is teamed with ‘Søborg’ chairs by Danish de­signer Børge Mo­gensen, from Fred­eri­cia. The ceram­ics on the ta­ble are from Roxy Klas­sik (try Scan­di­na­vian De­sign Cen­ter for sim­i­lar pieces or Wagumi for Ja­panese de­signs) Stock­ist de­tails on p202 ➤

ime seems to have mag­i­cally stood still on the is­land of Læsø,

an idyll off the north­east coast of the beau­ti­ful Jut­land Penin­sula in Den­mark. Here, con­cealed by pine forests and over­look­ing the ocean, is New Seaweed House. Built us­ing ar­ti­sanal tech­niques, this home is ev­ery bit as en­chant­ing as its nat­u­ral sur­round­ings.

Ar­chi­tect Søren Nielsen of Vand­kun­sten Ar­chi­tects used larch as a frame­work for the build­ing, which was then cov­ered in seaweed, re­viv­ing an an­cient is­land build­ing method. ‘Tra­di­tional Danish ru­ral houses have strong sim­i­lar­i­ties to Ja­panese ar­chi­tec­ture,’ Søren says. ‘ You can see a syn­ergy if you look at the Kat­sura Im­pe­rial Villa in Ky­oto, where half-tim­bered walls, clay and reed – or seaweed, in our case – are the main build­ing ma­te­ri­als.’

All of the rooms in the house are ar­ranged around an open-plan liv­ing space. The ex­pan­sive double-height ceil­ing is padded, which has the ef­fect of soft­en­ing the Swedish pine walls and floor­boards. White linen pan­els are stuffed with seaweed, cot­ton and fire-re­tar­dant am­mo­nium salt, and their gen­tle curves help to nat­u­rally dif­fuse the light that seeps into the space through large sky­lights. Twin bed­rooms and bath­rooms, with sleep­ing lofts above, book­end this cen­tral space. ‘ We ap­plied Nordic Mod­ernist prin­ci­ples to the de­sign of the house, with an em­pha­sis on crafts­man­ship,’ says Søren. ‘There is a ten­sion be­tween the strict mod­u­lar geom­e­try and the raw ma­te­ri­als. Danish Mod­ernism is deeply in­flu­enced by the Ja­panese aes­thetic – it is sim­i­larly min­i­mal and mod­est, with struc­tural and ma­te­rial hon­esty.’

The fur­ni­ture through­out is Scan­di­na­vian, which lends a con­tem­po­rary edge to the scheme. Yet, the look is sparse – a sim­ple daybed sits in the liv­ing space, a larch-topped is­land de­fines the kitchen, and a large din­ing ta­ble cre­ates a for­mal eat­ing area. Com­fort and well­be­ing were care­fully con­sid­ered when build­ing this home, and sev­eral nooks pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for quiet. ‘Mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture is too mas­cu­line. It is dom­i­nated by hard ma­te­ri­als, geom­e­try and pre­ci­sion, which does not re­flect hu­man nature,’ Søren says. ‘Here, we have struck a bal­ance, adding soft­ness through ma­te­ri­als, while the un­der­stated decor cre­ates a con­nec­tion with nature.’ vand­kun­

The fur­ni­ture through­out New Seaweed House is Scan­di­na­vian, which lends a con­tem­po­rary edge to the sim­ple pine wood walls and floors

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