Once a small fisherman’s cottage, this home on Denmark’s east coast is now home to one of the biggest names in contemporary Danish architecture, Norm Architects’ Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen.
Less than an hour from Copenhagen, the small fishing town of Vedbaek makes for a welcome antidote to the buzz of the city. Flanked by woods and meadow on one side and the ocean on the other, the town offers an old world charm without the remote location. No strangers to the locale, Bjerre-Poulsen and his family had been living in the town for seven years when they fell in love with the small, run-down fisherman’s cottage that would become their home.
Built in 1911, the home was constructed from far-reaching inspiration; the exterior features a high roof line and wooden balconies derived from the Tyrolean influence at the time, while inside Art Deco wall panelling and neo-classical ornaments create an eclectic feel. In addition, different owners throughout the years had each added new elements, creating what Bjerre-Poulsen describes a “patchwork” of styles. “We had to tear almost everything out inside and start all over,” he says, “only keeping the most beautiful and original details and ornaments”.
While the outside of the house has remained fairly unchanged, inside substantial updates were made, beginning with the unison of seven different floor types and seven different layers to a single layer made of smooth, industrial magnetite. “It made the house much more unified inside and really put a focus on the beautiful original decor,” says Bjerre-Poulsen.
The unison of classic and contemporary continues with the new rounded stone staircase, preservation of the ornamental walls and a pared-back, masculine colour palette. The design also repurposes original elements in new ways, such as the herringbone flooring that is now integrated to the kitchen counter.
While the character of the original home shines through, it’s tempered by the modern functionality and minimalism that Norm Architects are revered for—an ideal architect’s home.
This piece originally appeared in est magazine issue 30.