Danish House Tour: Karina's Countryside Creation

Danish House Tour: Karina's Countryside Creation

Jill Slater
Mar 12, 2008

Name: Karina's Parents — Marianne and Bent

Location: Holbaek (2 hours northwest of Copenhagen, on a fjord)

Size: 1,000 square feet, 1 bedroom vacation home

Years lived in: 3 years worth of summers/holidays

Karina is an up and coming architect in Copenhagen. As soon as she received her degree, Karina embarked on her dream of designing a vacation home for her parents. The dream got a big boost by by Karina's passion for architecture, a great real estate deal on a parcel of land in the town where Karina was born, and an incredible capacity for DIY construction on the part of her parents....

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Once the design was complete, Karina's parents set to work. Other than the concrete chimney and the foundation, Karina's parents built every inch of their home, from the structure to the tiles, the plumbing to the floors. While many Danes are wary of paying exorbitant contractor costs, they are more than willing to get their hands dirty. Bent is a policy wonk but has been building kayaks by hand for most of his life. Marianne is a social worker and very very hearty.

Karina's goal as architect was to blur the lines between the indoors and outdoors. The flooring is the same throughout and in the summer when all the windows and sliding glass doors are open, it is an easy concept to adopt. The house is soothing and all year round, the 'light therapy' it provides is addictive. Karina loves to retreat there for self-restoration but also to follow the house as it adjusts to its inhabitants and visa-versa.

The home stands out in a small village of traditiional Danish homes. But by keeping the materials within the vernacular, Karina's radical design manages to blend into its context.

Initially, Karina had to defend her design decisions. Her parents had a different idea of what their home would look and feel like and had to learn to live in it as Karina intended. Their trust in their daughter quickly transformed into a real appreciation of Karina's vision!

Style: Modern architecture by Plusgaard arkitekter DK
Inspiration: A family project--collaboration, designed for the family to use
Favorite Element: The chimney works like an anchor for the house
Biggest Challenge: Making a house modern that fits into a traditional context
What Friends Say: They love it.
Biggest Embarrassment: The tiles in the bathroom are crooked.
Proudest DIY: The whole house is DIY.
Biggest Indulgence: The kitchen from Hansen Living
Best Advice:Do not compromise the best solution

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Do you have an idea for a house tour? Let me know! jill@apartmenttherapy.com
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