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Tag Archives: Denmark

These Circle Gardens In Denmark Look Almost Too Perfect To Be Real

There’s no better feeling than escaping to nature after a hard week of working. And what better place to escape to than your own personal tiny garden home. The Brøndby Haveby or Brøndby Garden City is a small community located just a short drive from Copenhagen, Denmark. What sets it apart from any other garden community out there is its unique shape. The houses are arranged in a circular pattern and look absolutely surreal when viewed from above.

More info: Instagram

Image credits: henry_do

Photographer Henry Do has recently captured these amazing drone photos of the community and the look absolutely stunning.

Image credits: henry_do

The Brøndby Haveby houses are the perfect place to run away from the bustling city – the large yards mean plenty of room for activities and the tall hedges ensure your privacy.

Image credits: Google Earth

The municipality of Brøndby approved the idea of this “garden city” over 50 years ago, back in 1964, and the circles began popping up one by one.

Image credits: Google Earth

This specific arrangement wasn’t chosen by accident. The architect that designed the “garden city” said that the idea behind the circles was to increase social interaction among the renters.

Image credits: Google Earth

When viewed from above, the circle gardens look even more surreal. They kind of look like grapes on a vine, don’t they?

Image credits: Google Earth

Here’s what people had to say about the Brøndby Haveby








Continue reading These Circle Gardens In Denmark Look Almost Too Perfect To Be Real

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10 Modern-Rustic Weekend Houses in the Country

Hot summers in the city get old pretty fast, so having a weekend house in the country is a luxury. But that doesn’t mean that luxury can’t be rustic. Here are 10 residences that are stunning in their get-away-from-it-all simplicity.

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1. Hilltop Aerie by Aidlin Darling Design Provides Respite in Northern California

Two San Francisco denizens working in finance and tech came to Aidlin Darling Design with a straightforward proposition. Create a simple, efficient house, restrained in cost and scale, for their empty hillside site in Glen Ellen, about an hour north of the city. The couple’s only imperative? A single-story plan. Since Barry Mehew and David Rice were familiar with tending to aging relatives, they knew to avoid the hazards staircases present (their main residence, a four-story Victorian in the city, has plenty). Although they envisioned this new house as a weekend getaway for now, they anticipate eventually spending most of their time there, and downsizing to a pied-à-terre back in the city. Read more about this project

2. Jan Henrik Jensen Designs Unconventional Round House in Denmark

In the Danish shelter magazine that Finn and Janni Holm subscribe to, architect Jan Henrik Jansenwas pictured sitting in front of a house that he had constructed with his own hands. “We just rang him and asked him to do one for us,” Janni Holm says. “That’s where our adventure started.” The Holms had decided to build a new home on a lot and a simple wooden farmhouse was what they had in mind. What they got was entirely different, thanks to Jansen’s standard procedure: always conceiving more than one solution for a project. He first showed the Holms a design that corresponded exactly to their farmhouse brief. Then he surprised them with plans for a radically different idea: a round house. Read more about this project

3. SPG Architects Transforms Lilian Swann Saarinen’s Former Cape Cod Residence

Modernist royalty, by marriage, Lilian Swann Saarinen had met her husband, Eero, when she was studying sculpture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, headed by his father, Eliel. After the younger Saarinens’ divorce in 1953, she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, with their two children and asked former Eero Saarinen and Associates architect Olav Hammarstrom to expand a fisherman’s cottage in the Cape Cod town of Wellfleet for use as a low-budget family getaway. “On the Cape, a lot of architects built on a dime and a prayer,” SPG Architects principal Eric Gartner explains. Considerably more painstaking was his own task: updating the Hammarstrom design for repeat clients, one in financial services and the other a sculptor. Read more about this project

4. The Success of Andreas Martin Löf’s House Near Stockholm Lies in Being Playful and Taking Risks

“Everybody was against it,” Andreas Martin-Löf says, looking at the offending infinity pool outside his weekend house in the Stockholm archipelago. “My friends thought it was nouveau riche. They wondered why I couldn’t just go down to the jetty for a swim, like everyone else.” Traditionally, Swedes favor rustic summer retreats, and Martin-Löf concedes that he usually dislikes “luxury” architecture both personally and in his work at Andreas Martin-Löf Architects. Yet he was intrigued by the possibility of the infinity pool as a mirror for the property’s pine trees and expansive water views. “The pool is a crucial part of the success of the house,” he continues. “You have to be a bit playful and take a few risks.” Read more about this project

Read more: 15 Incredible Pools from Around the World

5. Michigan Lake House by Desai Chia Architecture: 2016 Best of Year Winner for Country House

A real-estate entrepreneur clipped and saved a newspaper story about Arjun Desai and Katherine Chia’s glassy weekend pavilion that won a Best of Year Award in 2013. The entrepreneur was intrigued by the way the house practically floated above its spectacular surroundings, a bucolic estate in rural New York—because he had just bought 60 acres on a remote peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan. Arguably even more extraordinary than the New York site, this one sits between a cherry orchard and a bluff plunging 120 feet down to the water. Read more about this project

6. Minimalist Gem by Atelier Carvalho Arujo Masters a Tricky Site in Portugal 

Modernist-minded designers often mine bodies of water for inspiration. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater—perhaps the greatest house of the 20th century—wouldn’t exist without the stream that runs, dramatically, below it. Following in this storied tradition, Atelier Carvalho Araújo used water as both guide and counterpoint in designing a house in Vieira do Minho, Portugal. The site is a steep slope overlooking the Caniçada Valley, about 20 miles northeast of Braga. A stream meanders down the site, connecting ponds at the top and bottom of the hillside, both now corralled into freeform pools.“Architecture must have the gift of awakening sensations, emotions,” principal José Manuel Carvalho Araújo says. “The only thing I don’t want to evoke is indifference.” Read more about this project

7. Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks Conceive Stone-Clad House Near the Estate of Her Father, Charles

When it comes to delivering the unexpected, Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks, respectively 33 and 35 years old, have already developed a reputation. The pair transformed a tiny tile showroom in London with an installation of porcelain planks, playing cleverly with geometry in just four shades of gray to achieve a dazzling op art effect—a tour de force that landed right on the cover of Interior Design. Now, with a weekend house in Scotland, Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio have defied expectation in very different ways. Read more about this project

8. Nani Marquina’s Costa Brava Retreat Is a Collector’s Paradise

Nani Marquina has a thing for straw hand brooms. The textile designer and Nanimarquinafounder owns more than two-dozen such specimens, sourced from locales as far flung as Thailand, Pakistan, and Ibiza. Her collecting passion also extends to woven baskets, beaded necklaces, teapots, seeds, dried gourds, soap, succulents, and sand (stored in fish bowls), all of which garnish the Esclanyà, Spain, getaway she shares with her husband, photographer Albert Font. The 1970s dwelling has a whitewashed simplicity that renders it a perfect backdrop for the couple’s assorted ephemera. “The most important thing is not the container, but the contents,” Marquina says. Read more about his project

9. Architect Mathias Klotz Creates a Pair of Cottages on a Remote Island in Chile

For Chileans—especially those who live in the frenetic capital, Santiago—a second home is an essential refuge, an escape to the serene beauty of the natural landscape. Architect Mathias Klotz, principal of his eponymous firm, has designed many such houses, characteristically with a clean-lined modernism that nods to one of his heroes, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. For his own family’s retreat on a largely undeveloped coastal island, he used archetypal forms that evoke both past and present. Constrained by the remote location and tricky logistics, the result is a timeless design that blends into the pristine setting. Read more about this project

10. Mork Ulnes Architects and Office of Charles de Lisle Create a Minimalist Guesthouse in Sonoma

Casper Mork-Ulnes was born in Norway, moved to Italy at age 2, and came to San Francisco at 16. He also lived in Scotland and studied architecture at California College of the Arts and Columbia University before establishing Mork Ulnes Architects back in San Francisco. That’s an unusually lengthy introduction, granted, to an unusual small project in the Sonoma Valley town of Glen Ellen. Mork-Ulnes had remodeled the property’s original house for its previous owners. The new ones, a family of five, brought him back for a guesthouse. At 840 square feet, it comprises three volumes, each of which contains a bedroom and a bathroom. They’re arranged in a stepped configuration, sharing party walls and a canted roof but no internal corridor. Read more about this project

Read more: 10 Bright and Modern Beach Houses

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16 Danish Furniture Highlights from Copenhagen’s 3 Days of Design

Popularity for Danish furniture continues to surge. A great place to experience this in action: 3DaysofDesign, which was held May 23-25 in Copenhagen. With product and brand launches, exhibitions and pop-up events, and a record 150 exhibitors, the sixth edition of Denmark’s annual design event was bigger and bolder this year, with increased citywide presence in part due to a graphic identity crafted by Spanish artist and designer Jaime Hayon. From Michelin-starred restaurant furnishings now available to all, archival pieces finding a new audience, and a reinvention of the lowly toilet brush, here are 16 of our favorite finds.

Photography by Magnus Omme, courtesy of Space Copenhagen.

 

Take home your very own Michelin-starred restaurant furnishings with the Holmen collection from Space Copenhagen. Noma, the Copenhagen restaurant lauded as one of the best in the world, auctioned off its oak side tables by cabinet maker Malte Gormsen for a cool $4,000 a piece—while the MG 205 side table by Malte Gormsen was offered at a more reasonable price point. 

Photography by Magnus Omme, courtesy of Space Copenhagen.

The browned oak and metal MG 101 dining chair, also part of the Holmen collection by Malte Gormsen for Space Copenhagen, once furnished the 108 restaurant in Copenhagen, a Noma-spin off.

Photography courtesy of Carl Hansen & Søn.

An archival piece with a distinctive pressed veneer backrest saw daylight once more with Carl Hansen & Søn ‘s re-release of the Contour lounge chair, designed by Børge Mogensen in 1949. Available in oak, walnut, or a combination of the two, the chair stays true to original sketches— with the exception of added comfort in the form of an upholstered seat.

Photography courtesy of File Under Pop.

File Under Pop presented a new brand focusing on surfaces, first previewed in Milan last month. A collaboration between File Under Pop founder and creative director Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer and architect Elisa Ossino, H+O is a modular tile brand applicable for use on walls, floors, and ceilings. The large-format Rilievi collection consists of eight different tiles with three-dimensional geometric surfaces available in four color ways.

Photography courtesy of &Tradition.

The distinctive shape of a fungus brings the USB-chargeable Setago table lamp for &Tradition to life. Just like a mushroom, the wireless lamp, designed by Jaime Hayon and first presented in Milan this year, can be plucked and moved at ease.

Photography courtesy of Takt.

The stackable oak and plywood Cross chair by London studio PearsonLloyd for the freshly launched design brand Takt can be shipped flatpack—one of the factors leading to its sustainable certification. It’s also made of 100 percent FSC-certified wood.

Photography courtesy of Wehlers.

Fishing nets and steel are recycled and repurposed for the fabrication of the R.U.M. chair—short for ReUsedMaterials—designed by C. F. Møller Design for Wehlers.

Photography courtesy of Please Wait to be Seated.

Bulk just where you want it—at the seat pad—is behind the name of the tubular steel Tubby Tube, a stool by Faye Toogood for Please Wait to be Seated.

Photography courtesy of Jot.jot.

The comfort of wood and the strength of steel are a successful union for the slim yet sturdy and stackable Shadow chair by Boris Berlin Design for Jot.jot.

Photography courtesy of Skagerak.

Bold color marks the 20th anniversary of the Cutter Jubilee bench by Niels Hvass for Skagerak , now available in scarlet red-lacquered oak.

Photography courtesy of House of Finn Juhl.

The armchair, later nicknamed the Grasshopper due to its nod to the herbivorous insect, was first designed by Finn Juhl in 1938. However, it wasn’t until much later that the chair’s avant-garde form received appreciation. Before its release at Milan Design Week under House of Finn Juhl, the firm that carries on the designer’s legacy, only two existed—and one auctioned off for $360,000 in 2018.

Photography courtesy of House of Finn Juhl.

House of Finn Juhl also presented Finn Juhl’s extendable Bovirke table, which premiered at an exhibition in 1948. Available in oak or walnut, Bovirke nearly doubles in size, from 55 inches to 94 inches long.

The Bovirke table by Finn Juhl, an archival piece released by House of Finn Juhl. Photography courtesy of House of Finn Juhl.
Photography courtesy of Fredericia.

In tribute to the former home of Copenhagen’s Royal Mail—now the manufacturer’s showroom—Fredericia presented the Post collection by Cecilie Manz. A plywood seat and back combines with a solid wood frame for the Post chair. First previewed in Milan last month, the collection also includes a table.

Photography courtesy of Unidrain.

A 3 Days of Design breakfast event celebrated the lowly toilet brush with a presentation from Unidrain. With an inner container fitted with a splash guard and a replaceable brush head resisting both water and paper collection, Toilet Brush Wall Mounted Copper is engineered to reduce bacteria and mess.

Photography courtesy of Overgaard & Dyrman.

 The distinctive shape of a technical drawing tool—the compass—inspired the back of the Circle dining chair by Overgaard & Dyrman, while cushions take cues from the round sphere it draws.

The Circle dining chair by Overgaard & Dyrman. Photography courtesy of Overgaard & Dyrman.
Photography courtesy of Montana.

Montana introduced a new color palette for its signature shelving—an endeavor the manufacturer undertakes every eight years. Developed in collaboration with Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard, the 30 new hues include amber, rhubarb, flint, and chamomile, shown (clockwise) here.

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Smart Design Informs Copenhagen’s Skovbakke School (& Hygee, Too)

ODDER, Denmark — If there is such a place as Heaven, it was likely designed by the Danes. For some that might be blasphemous, but for those who are fans of contemporary, clean design, nobody does it better than the Danish.

Continue reading Smart Design Informs Copenhagen’s Skovbakke School (& Hygee, Too)

Why You Should Visit the 3 Happiest Countries in the World

A new study by the U.N. recognized these three neighboring countries as the happiest in the world, so we’ve provided a guide for when you travel there.

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This Danish Family Is Taking On the World Brick by Brick

“We have three principles that we abide by,” says Christian A. Petersen, the seventh generation member of the Danish family behind Petersen Brick. “The customer is king; Der Kunde ist König and Le client est roi.” Multiple translations, but one ethos: to tailor brick production to any project, no matter how ambitious, or where it might be. Founded in 1791, Petersen Brick has based itself in a site of rich clay deposits beside the navigable Baltic Sea, which has allowed its bricks to find markets across Northern Europe. Not only are the bricks durable in exposed northerly locations, but also they are versatile in terms of any design aesthetic desired. The product range—notably including the long, thin Kolumba brick, based on a Roman design—is now found in 43 countries and 12 U.S. states. How does Petersen manage it all at the age of 76? “Optimism, red wine, and the sanctuary of my fishing trawler,” he says with a laugh.

A villa in Kolding, Denmark.

Photo: Anders Sune Berg

A London project opting for Petersen’s bricks is the Turnmill building, located in Clerkenwell, an area of former warehouses. “We needed a façade material that was both sensitive to the historic setting—reflecting the sturdy masonry characteristics of the area—yet also strikingly contemporary,” explains architect Stuart Piercy. “We worked closely with Petersen Brick, visiting their brickworks in Denmark several times. They created special molds, 27 shapes in total, enabling us to realize the curved forms of the design. Together, we put a great deal of effort into making sure the brick color that was mixed in Denmark was right for London, for the Danish light is so different to London’s softer light.”

Turnmill building, London.

Photo: Hufton & Crow

In New York, brick is increasingly being chosen for exciting new buildings. A luxury condominium project at 180 East 88th Street, inspired by the boom in high-rise masonry construction during the 1920s and 1930s, will require 600,000 Petersen bricks. High-profile projects using the bricks are also underway at 150 Wooster Street in SoHo, and 145 President in the heart of “Brownstone Brooklyn.” Nearby in Brooklyn is 211 Schermerhorn, a modern take on New York’s classic brick apartment buildings.

211 Schermerhorn, Brooklyn.

Photo: Arc Media

“We’re working at the relatively intimate scale of 14 stories,” explains Morris Adjmi, founder of Morris Adjmi Architects. “It’s a clean, contemporary design with large industrial-inspired windows punching through a textured façade of handcrafted Petersen brick. We always look to a neighborhood’s character and history for inspiration. Boerum Hill has such a rich heritage with its tree-lined streets and historic brownstones, and Schermerhorn Street itself was named after a Dutch shipping family that settled here in the 1790s. So sourcing these beautiful materials from northern Europe just felt right.” The building opens in 2019.

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7 Glass Mosaics Around the World That Take Design to New Heights (Literally)

From a mosque in Iran to the largest Tiffany glasswork in existence, AD rounds up the locales of the most beautiful mosaics

Upon first entering St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, most visitors can’t help but do one thing: look up. This hulking Italian Renaissance church—designed in part by Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bernini—dates back to the 16th century and boasts some of the world’s most impressive, painstakingly crafted ceiling mosaics. During construction, the church enlisted the most skilled artisans of the period for the job, resulting in a treasury of shimmering glass-tile creations that are so precisely executed that they’re often mistaken for paintings.

 

Many awe-inspiring examples of this centuries-old art form can be spotted outside the Vatican City walls—you just have no know where to look. From a palace turned hotel in Budapest to a historic Chicago department store, we’ve rounded up some of the world’s most stunning glass ceilings.

Photo: Alamy

Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona, Spain

Built between 1905 and 1908, architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner’s Catalan Art Nouveau masterpiece is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts a monumental stained-glass-and-mosaic ceiling.

Photo: Getty Images/Izzet Keribar

Shah Cheragh, Shiraz, Iran

Shah Cheragh, a funerary monument and mosque, is also known as the Emerald Mosque because of its mesmerizing mirror-mosaic ceiling and the shimmering chandeliers that hang from it.

Photo: Getty Images/Stefano Oppo

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan, Italy

Built between 1865 and 1877 at the intersection of two streets, this sprawling arcade is regarded as the oldest shopping mall in Italy. The crown jewel of the arcade is its soaring 164-foot-tall octagonal glass dome, located at the very center of the complex.

 
Photo: Courtesy of Hotel D’Angleterre

Hotel d’Angleterre, Copenhagen, Denmark

Hundreds of thousands of pieces of glass comprise the mosaic ceiling of the d’Angleterre’s Palm Court, making it the largest ceiling of its kind in Northern Europe. It was designed by Italian glass artist Albano Poli, whose other mosaic credits include a blown-glass rose window at the Santa Croce Basilica in Florence and mosaics in the Vatican Gardens.

 

Photo: Getty Images/UIG/Jeff Greenberg

Tiffany Dome at Macy’s, Chicago, USA

High above the makeup department on the first floor of Macy’s in Chicago sits the largest Tiffany mosaic in existence. Originally commissioned for the Marshall Field’s department store (acquired and renamed by Macy’s in 2006), Tiffany’s magnum opus is comprised of 1.6 million pieces of iridescent glass.

Photo: Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest, Hungary

Guests of this Art Nouveau treasure, located on the banks of the Danube River, are greeted by a sprawling white-and-aqua-blue glass atrium in the hotel’s lobby. The glass ceiling, described by the hotel as “a true labor of love,” was designed to enclose what was originally a horse-and-carriage drop-off for the palace.

 
Photo: Getty Images/ppnmm

Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque, Shiraz, Iran

Also known as the Pink Mosque, the Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque features a sprawling presentation of candy-color glass mosaic ceilings, accentuated by kaleidoscopic stained-glass windows and rainbow-hued carpets.

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Continue reading 7 Glass Mosaics Around the World That Take Design to New Heights (Literally)

SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN VS. MINIMALIST DESIGN: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Navigating design terms can be as confusing as assembling a home entertainment system by hand. But to plan interior design that suits your highly specific, oh-so-original tastes and home, you need the language to talk about the nuances of certain styles.

If all you know about minimalist and Scandinavian design is that IKEA sells a lot of it, let us hand you the metaphorical power drill. Here’s everything you need to know about the two aesthetics.

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The 12 Most Anticipated Buildings of 2018

At its core, architecture is an exceptionally slow art form. After a commission is earned, the planning, building, and completion of a structure can take, at times, upwards of a decade. Through the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this length of time for design and construction wasn’t an issue, as predicating the near-term needs of a city was a relatively achievable goal. Yet, as technology advanced and cities such as New York and London boomed into metropolises, planning to meet the exact needs for an urban space became exceedingly difficult.

Consider the task of an architect who, in 1998, won a commission for a building in Beijing that took ten years to complete. In that time period, China’s capital would undergo one of the biggest social and cultural shifts in the country’s long history. What’s more, the advancements in computer technology during that ten-year stretch were profound. How does an architect predict this type of transformation in an initial scheme? It’s almost impossible. As a result, the role of an architect has changed. No longer are they merely designing a building but are doing so in a manner that’s similar to a sociologist. By spotting (and at times predicting) the patterns of social interactions and cultural norms, today’s influential architects can create an identity for a city that’s become a cacophony of objects.

Looking to the year ahead of us, we wonder: Which buildings will capture the essence of their location, even as they were initially conceived at a time when the demands of the space were different? Below, AD PRO surveys 12 buildings around the world that will not just be completed in 2018 but done so with a design that we believe will produce an identity to match the needs of its environment. When this bold, and at times radical, type of design comes together, the result is stunningly beautiful. Indeed, as the great 19th-century critic Walter Pater once said (and the inimitable architecture critic Herbert Muschamp later echoed), architecture is fundamentally about “the power of being deeply moved by the presence of beautiful objects.” We believe these 12 buildings will possess that power.

Rendering: Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group

ARC Power Plant, by Bjarke Ingels Group (Copenhagen, Denmark)

For the past few years, Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels has been redefining skylines across the globe. But for his latest project, the 43-year-old visionary stayed closer to home. Located in Copenhagen, the ARC Power Plant is the apogee of creative brilliance. Fundamentally, the state-of-the-art facility is proof that eco-friendly architecture can be done with high design. Clad in aluminum, the structure is expected to burn 400,000 tons of waste annually into enough clean energy to power 60,000 homes in the area—all of which is a major step in Copenhagen’s plan to become the world’s first zero-carbon city by 2025. But it’s not just about converting waste to energy—it’s about having fun too. Atop the structure’s roof is a nearly 1,500-foot-long ski slope (one of the world’s longest artificial ski slopes), a pipe dream of Ingels’s own that he worked into possibility. The slope, which is accessible through an elevator inside the building, has paths designated for beginners, intermediates, and experts. While Denmark receives a healthy amount of snow, the country is rather flat and not an ideal terrain for ski lovers. BIG’s ARC Power Plant is changing all of that in a very carbon-neutral way.

Rendering: Courtesy of Snøhetta & MIR

Calgary Library, by Snøhetta (Calgary, Canada)

Fundamentally, Calgary’s new library is about connecting residents to public spaces. Located at the intersection between Downtown Calgary and the East Village, the Snøhetta-designed structure lifts to become a gateway from one exciting neighborhood to the next. The building also hovers over the existing Light Rail Transit Line, which cuts through the heart of the city. The geometrically designed exterior will draw residents into the activities occurring inside the library, while those upper levels (which aren’t as open to the public to see from outside) allow for a more quiet, traditional library experience.

Photo: Iwan Baan

Institute for Contemporary Art, by Steven Holl (Richmond, Virginia)

Virginia Commonwealth University’s new Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) is much more than what its name suggests. The genius of Steven Holl’s design is that, while the architecture is masterfully uniform, the usage of its interior is anything but that. The ICA will be used as a cafe bar, a gallery space, a 240-seat auditorium for film screenings, performances, and lectures, as well as a fabrication workshop. Not only do Holl’s irregularly shaped blocks have a whimsical feel, but they are incredibly eco-friendly as well. Four green roofs are planted with native vegetation, which are intended to absorb stormwater and increase insulation. Window and skylights have been strategically placed to ensure the interior receive plenty of natural light, reducing the need for artificial illumination. The project will be opened to the public in April 2018, roughly six years after it was first unveiled.

Continue reading The 12 Most Anticipated Buildings of 2018

Jan Henrik Jansen Designs Unconventional Round House in Denmark

In the Danish shelter magazine that Finn and Janni Holm subscribe to, architect Jan Henrik Jansen was pictured sitting in front of a house that he had constructed with his own hands. “We just rang him and asked him to do one for us,” Janni Holm says. “That’s where our adventure started.”
> Project Resources
The Holms had decided to build a new home for their family on a lot in the small city of Odense, and a simple wooden farmhouse was what they had in mind. What they got was entirely different, largely thanks to Jansen’s standard procedure: always conceiving more than one solution for a project. He first showed the Holms a design that corresponded exactly to their farmhouse brief. Then he surprised them with plans for a radically different idea: a round house.

jan-henrik-jansen-round-house-odense-denmark-indoor-and-outdoor--0617Cobblestones pave the courtyard of a house in Odense, Denmark by Jan Henrik Jansen Arkitekter. Photography by James Silverman.
He, in turn, was surprised, even shocked, when they accepted in a split second. “It was amazing,” he remembers. “People usually think about it first.” As a German who came to Denmark in the 1990’s—working for large architecture firms and doing houses as a sideline before branching out on his own as Jan Henrik Jansen Arkitekter—he attributes the couple’s adventurousness partially to the Danish national character: “An interest in design is basic here. It’s not only for an upper-class clientele.”
The reason he made the house curved, he explains, is because it’s flanked on two sides by other houses. So he sited it to face the green meadow behind, making the Holms feel almost as if they are living alone in the open countryside. He used brick, rather than the initially requested wood, to blend in with the rest of the neighborhood. Also, he adds, “The round shape asks for a solid material.”
While the Holms loved the 2,400-square-foot design, they didn’t like its price tag. Finn Holm therefore decided that, although he already had a full-time job as the owner of a corporate cleaning business, he would moonlight as general contractor for the house project. “I’ll never do it again,” he vows. It took two years of his life.

jan-henrik-jansen-round-house-odense-denmark-dining-and-lounge-area-0617Hans Wegner designed the dining room’s furniture. Photography by James Silverman.
He still has a special love for the handmade brick, which came from a Carlsberg brewery that was being demolished 100 miles away in Copenhagen. The old mortar is still visible in some places. “I touched every one of those bricks,” he says, explaining that he had to hand-cut the entire batch, thousands of pieces. That agonizing process, alone, took six months. He persevered through rain and snow, not to mention complaints from his family that he was never home.
This is a second marriage for the Holms. Each of them has two children from previous marriages in addition to two together, a total of four girls and two boys ranging in age from 8 to 23. Three of the children still live at home, with a cocker spaniel named Cookie. There are always lots of people around.
To maintain order, the master suite is at one end of the C shape, and the children’s three bedrooms and shared bathroom are at the other end, with the living and dining rooms and the kitchen clustered in the middle. “It’s extremely open, but it doesn’t feel that way, because it’s curved,” Jansen explains.

jan-henrik-jansen-round-house-odense-denmark-master-bedroom-0617As in the rest of the house, the brick floor in the master bedroom is radiant-heated. Photography by James Silverman.
The curtain wall along the interior curve of the C is triple-glazed thermal glass. Aside from that, he used only two primary materials, wood and brick. Even the radiant-heated floor is brick, sealed to repel dirt so that housekeeping is not a problem. With these traditional materials, he says, “The house could have been built 100 years ago.”
When it came to the furnishings, Janni Holm took over. A doctor by profession, she says she has been interested in design for as long as she can remember. She collects Danish 1950’s and 1960’s furniture, and it blends right in with the interior architecture, curves and all. “Apart from the fact that we had to sell our angled sofa, there were no major challenges,” she says.
What Finn Holm likes best about his new home is its connection to the outdoors year-round. The floor-to-ceiling glass gives virtually every room a view of the circular courtyard, which is paved in cobblestones smoothed by glaciers. An outdoor fireplace is handy for hosting small barbecues, perhaps for the neighbors. Janni Holm admits with a smile that, while most of them like the house, they can’t imagine living in it.

jan-henrik-jansen-round-house-odense-denmark-childrens-room-beech-chairs-0617Chairs in a child’s room are beech. Photography by James Silverman.
Project Team: Thomas Kröll: Jan Henrik Jansen Arkitekter. Møller & Jakobsen: Structural Engineer.

> Project Resources

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