Copenhagen, Denmark, 2003–2007
Originally two apartments facing directly towards the Nikolaj Kirke in Central Copenhagen, the first floor of a listed town house building built after the fire of 1795 was purchased by the client in its entirety, attaining a frontage of seven windows and seventeen metres in breadth. Working as a consultant, Russell Jones was responsible for the design and implementation of this project. Overlooking the square and church, the new 250 m2 home combines the two original apartments, and takes the form of a horseshoe as it wraps around an internal courtyard and staircase. After the floor plate was stripped back to its historic structural form, exposed fragile timber framing was carefully wrapped and protected at the request of the Local Authority. The new living area, measuring 17 x 5 m, faces west and is on axis with the Nikolaj Kirke. The South wing contains study and master suite, the west wing contains kitchen and guest accommodation.
Douglas Fir staves, the length of each space, form a continuous floor surface in all living areas. The same material is used for tables, shelves, benches and guest bed platform. The natural warmth and aroma of the timber resonates throughout the apartment and is essential to its character.
Walls are finished in white plaster, and work surfaces and bathrooms are from Portuguese limestone. Fenestration and openings are screened with canvas and etched glass providing a subtle contrast to the restored window reveals. Light washes over restored original detail and plain new surfaces in a manner reminiscent of the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershoi.
Now in its second life, the apartment is known as Dinesen Home, and is used for exhibitions and special occasions.
- Russell Jones