A Home for Your Senses

A Home for Your Senses


When we first sat down to discuss – – and figure out how our house should be. The first term of discussion is to decide,
what you want from the house. Not just to figure out
how many square metres it should be – – and so on. But more basic to discuss – – wishes and wishes that are hard to
put into words. What kind of experience you want
from the house. What kind of emotions
do you want to bring out of it. So we brought some main subjects forward. One was, that we wanted to
have all seasons and the weather – – into the house. Understood that way,
that we wanted to feel – – when it´s stormy,
sense the rain – – and also when it snows. On the other hand,
when the weather is good, to feel the weather
from inside the house. This is best done,
if you have a large glass section – – in a central area. We quickly named this
the core of the house. The core of the house is, where you spend most of the day. In our case, this is in the family room,
whereas there is a kitchen. It turns out that we’re staying here
for about 80-90 % of the time – – when we are awake. Some of our guests have asked us:
– Is this the kitchen? – There is no kitchen! It’s built into the walls
that you don´t notice the kitchen. The function of a kitchen is here,
but it’s not necessary – – to have a room just for that. To have a kitchen island is still popular. Our kitchen island is located
up against the wall. While preparing food,
we can see the outside. Our kitchen island is open to the outside. When I planned the house,
I called this the public area. All the other rooms: The basement,
the bedrooms and partly the hall downstairs – – are not meant to be that public. This means that you are more public,
when you are in the family room. The neighbours can see you,
people driving by can see you. You must take that into account. One special object in this room
is this big curtain. When you feel,
that you are too public – – and you want some privacy,
you can draw the curtain. One of the main subjects
was to exploit all the square meters. The hallway works both as a hallway – – and as a stairway. It isn’t two seperate rooms,
it’s just one room – – with a front door. The front door and the sides
provide a lot of daylight – – to the hallway. On the right side,
we have all these closets – – used for storage. The storage zone,
as I call it, is not only used for storage. Here’s a bench, where you can
sit down and tie your laces. Otherwise, the first thing you notice,
when you enter the house, are the stairs that invite you upstairs or
downstairs with four steps – – to the basement. It’s quite unusual to build
the whole thing with birch, but I think it works well in this house. It combines the staircase
with the storage walls. On the lower floor, there are three rooms:
The master bedroom, two children rooms and a toilet. All three rooms face towards the outside, where the daylight – – light up the rooms. The master bedroom is reasonably big. One of the end walls are built-in closets. But here you truly notice the change
between the storage zone. From being a closed wall of storage,
it changes on the southeast side – – to become a thinner zone
of 40 centimetres, where there are shelves, bookcases,
bedside table, window bench and storage. Here are plaster walls
up against the birch walls, but the plaster walls here are
painted in an ocher-yellow colour. There are two children rooms
that are equally big, but face different directions,
where the closet zone is on the long side. The distinctive feature is, that the window
is placed in the middle of the closet wall, where you get a deep window frame,
which can be used for many different purposes. It can be a small table to play on.
You may use it as a bench. And sometimes, when the curtain is drawn,
it may become a small room. Our daughters have picked
the colours themselves, and therefore it´s a special experience,
on their own terms. In this room, the closet wall
is at the end wall in the room, and makes it a very different room. In the bottom of the lower floor,
we have the multi-room. A room with many names.
We have called it the technical room, the laundry room, the multi-room, but plan
to call it the basement-living room. It´s a room that has many functions.
The entire back wall has technology inside: The ventilation system, geothermal system
and heat pump. Another wall has the washing function:
Washing machine, scullery and storage. The house has a geothermal system,
where heating pipes are put into the floors, that heats up the whole house. By having LED lights –
all electric lights are LED, so to speak – – it turns out that the house uses
very little energy. The first year we used just over
1,000 Danish kroner a month – – on energy costs of both heating and light. This is for all the heating of the house,
warm water and electrical lights. The toilets are more closed,
and this is deliberate. We wanted a toilet,
where you can have some peace and quiet. Daylight comes from the north
through a mat window. The perception of this room is enhanced
by the fact that this is a closed room, with green painted walls – a green bog
colour that fits very well, when you have just taken a shower and there
is water on the glass walls – – the other walls and on the floor. Some guests have said,
that one gets a sort of bog feeling – – to be inside here, and that is spot on. A basic principle in the house is,
that all partition walls on both floors are on top of each other. This is a simpler construction principle
or building structure. The walls we see here; the toilet wall
and the walls of the corridor, are connected to the upper floor. We wanted the interior of the house,
to give lots of experiences. Understood that it addresses the senses;
that something had a certain colour – – and some certain materials elsewhere,
so it gave many different experiences, and that´s why
there´s so much wood in use. All cabinets and shelves are a
deliberate choice of material – – that appeals to the senses. Especially when there is different lights;
sunlight or when electric light – – shines on the material,
the plaster walls seem more smooth. But also the use of different colours,
as having a background in the house, wherein the toilet, for example,
the walls have got a dark colour. And so, one can, with colours and paint,
provide different experiences for those, who live in the house. The floor is also made
of a special material: Linoleum floors with a special red colour. As a joke, I usually say,
that the ground is burning. And this also provides a certain feeling. Another thing, when we decided to create
experiences, good experiences, of course, was that all ceilings
should be sound absorbing – – in order to take away the echo. It must be a positive experience,
that the acoustics are in order. By making it quiet inside the house, you should be able to rest and recharge
for the next working day. Therefore, it is important
that the acoustics also are in order. The innermost room of the upper floor
is the living room. It´s also a room, with two names:
The living room, or as I call it: The cave. Because this is the room,
where you´re not public. One has withdrawn from the family room,
which is more public, bright and open. Something, that characterizes
this room, is that the ceiling, the sloping ceiling comes
all the way down here. The room height is no more
than 2.10 meters, at its lowest. Deep inside the cave,
or on the back wall, is a large built-in sofa, where you can lie down in two directions. You have to have a room,
where you can retreat and rest, and not feel so exposed. When you enter the family room
and you´re at the doorstep to the kitchen, family room or living room,
you´re at the large glass front. It’s like the light welcomes you
and lures you closer. Here´s a big sliding door,
making it natural to go out on the balcony, which is 35 square meters. This was one of our main wishes;
to have a large balcony, or a large area – – close to the core of the house. Although the weather isn´t quite good,
but sheltered and dry, we often go out to chill a bit,
feel the breeze and enjoy the view. On the left is the guest room and office,
which also is a room with different functions. We also used it as an extra living room,
when we had a party here. Thus works the upper floor more
as a larger overall floor. As the cherry on top
there is a small loft, a small room linked to the guest room, where you have to climb up.
It turns out to be appealing to children. They always want to go here to play. Not only do they want to play here,
they also go into the closets, which is the last and innermost room
in the house. Especially the family room –
the core, is very open – – and is a quite big and bright room. I wanted to create, especially now,
we have children, a house that is designed for a family:
two adults and two children. To create small and intimate rooms
that are made to hide in. Children also need to
feel at home – in a home. Small children sometimes feel
the need to retreat from the world – – particularly on a day,
when the mood might not be at its best, or they may need to hide,
they must have the possibility of doing so. I choose to make a lot of closet rooms,
which are not filled up with things yet. The kids have really embraced this
and hide in these closets. When I grew up myself, as all children,
we used to play hide and seek – – or hide from adults by going into closets
and the darkness – seeking the intimacy. This was definitely an aspect
intended for this house.

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