Norm Architects Renovated Beautiful House with Love for Simplicity and Thoughtfulness
Vedbaek House IV was built in 1911 by the architects H. Wright and E.V. Marston in Vedbæk, which became a wealthy suburban neighbourhood on the coast north of Copenhagen, Denmark. The house where Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen Architect lives, a designer and photographer, was renovated and designed by the Copenhagen-based Norm Architects.
“Wright was the city architect of Copenhagen at that time and the builder/owner of this house – Fritz Johannsen – had seen a little house that Wright had done previously and got the idea for this house – Rosenhøj (meaning Rose Mound). In the late 19th century the wealthy citizenship of Copenhagen started to construct summer villas north of Copenhagen along the coastline. Vedbæk was just a small fishing village at that time, but with a wonderful location close to the city and both forest, fields and water all around – as today. The location of this house is on the grounds that used to belong to a small wooden hotel in Vedbæk that burnt to the ground in 1898. At that time architecture from Southern Germany and Northern Italy was very much in vogue so it is built in a Tyrolean manner with the very high roof line and the wooden balconies overlooking the sea. I don´t think the house is that beautiful from the outside. But it is very peculiar and definitely has character. The addition to the house – where the bedroom and bathroom is today – was built as a conservatory or winter garden 2 years later in 1913. Fritz Johannsen had been travelling a lot to both Italy and France and was very inspirited by those places and you find many elements in the house from his travels. You also notice the very eclectic style in the interior with the ornaments on the wall going from neo-classicist to Art Deco. We had been living in Vedbæk for 7 years before we bought this house in a small old fisherman’s house from 1900 and fell in love with the old world charm of this house when it came up for sale. But the house was very poorly kept and you could see that various owners had built small elements over the decades and it was a complete patchwork of multiple styles when we saw it. So we had to tear almost everything out inside and start all over – only keeping the most beautiful and original details and ornaments. The house had 7 different floor types in 7 different layers and the back part of the house with the entrance and the children’s rooms was a modern addition. It was well integrated from the outside but not in the inside of the house. We took up all floors and leveled them and cast the magnetite floor as a industrial contrast to the ornamented and historic walls and ceilings and then it has in its structure a clear reference to the Italian Stucco Lustre technique you use for walls with marble rendering. It made the house much more unified inside and really put a focus on the beautiful original decor. We then made some holes or niches in the walls here and there to give the daylight a change to pass through the different rooms as the spaces were quite dark. We then did the small round staircase leading from the living room to the bedroom to connect the 2 houses and redid the kitchen in a contemporary fashion – but reusing elements from the old house – the original herringbone flooring for the kitchen counter etc.,” says Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen Architect, owner of the house
- Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
- Date completed: 2015
- Size: 2,300 square feet
- Design: Norm Architects
- Photos: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen