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Architect’s Home

Magic happened when architect Anders Barslund took over architect Olaf Hansens house from 1950. The house with many fine, modernistic expressions was the perfect playground for new experiments with color and space.

Anders Barslund has a crush on modernistic architecture, which was a hit here in Denmark in the 1940’s and 1950’s. He is also crazy about using colors, and making impressions with carefully chosen colors. So when he took over the house in Sorgenfri north of Copenhagen, it was clear that he could begin to test some of his ideas. The house was designed and built in 1950 by architect Olaf Hansen, who lived there until his death in 2010.

It is a house with unbelievably many fine qualities, that clearly show that an architect considered everything from the beginning here. Anders Barslund enthusiastically mentions the fine Japanese-inspired entrance, typical of post-war architecture that took much inspiration from Japan. Inside the house he praises the built-in cabinets, which we now have to pay staggering sums for if we want something with just approximately the same quality. Therefore, the majority of the house’s cabinets survived the renovation the house has gone through. As imaginable, the décor did not completely fit the needs of a modern family in 2014.

Faithfulness to the mind and soul of the original house which Olaf Hansen designed and built almost 65 years ago, has been the most important thing for architect Anders Barslund throughout the renovation. Not least in the color selection, 1950's architecture has been a great source of inspiration. In this house completely white walls, which we Danes otherwise swear to, are completely absent.

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Many fine qualities

It is a house with unbelievably many fine qualities, that clearly show that an architect considered everything from the beginning here. Anders Barslund enthusiastically mentions the fine Japanese-inspired entrance, typical of post-war architecture that took much inspiration from Japan. Inside the house he praises the built-in cabinets, which we now have to pay staggering sums for if we want something with just approximately the same quality. Therefore, the majority of the house’s cabinets survived the renovation the house has gone through. As imaginable, the décor did not completely fit the needs of a modern family in 2014.

Faithfulness to the mind and soul of the original house which Olaf Hansen designed and built almost 65 years ago, has been the most important thing for architect Anders Barslund throughout the renovation. Not least in the color selection, 1950's architecture has been a great source of inspiration. In this house completely white walls, which we Danes otherwise swear to, are completely absent.

He is bothered by the Danes’ tendancy to use white everywhere. Red and yellow bricks are plastered in white and inside there is a tendancy to use too much white as well. Anders Barslund calls it ‘Hellerup-ifying’ (Hellerup is a wealthy suburb north of Copnhagen) with an allusion to the fact the we all want to live in something big and white. – It’s a pity because famous modern architects like Finn Juhl and Arne Jacobsen were not afraid to use colors. Finn Juhl for example painted the ceilings in his own house different colors, says Anders Barslund. 

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Anders Barslund home with colorful walls

It was actually the orange wall in the living room, that spurred the architect to start experimenting with color selections. The previous architect Olaf Hansen apparently had a sense for color as well. Today, the wall is still orange, painted in the rather fierce Charlotte's Lock from the famous English painter Farrow & Ball, which Anders Barslund swears to.

The wall’s color is inspired by the roof tiles on the housing co-op on the other side of the road because, when you should find a color for a room it is always a good idea to look out the window and see the colors outside. That way you create a close connection between outside and in, explains Anders Barslund.

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The rocking chair has a very special meaning for the owner. It was actually Anders Barslunds’ father’s first piece of furniture, that he had with him when he moved from home to a room in Roskilde, where he met Anders’ mom. “Think, how in love and happy he has been in that chair” says the son today.

The rocking chair has a very special meaning for the owner. It was actually Anders Barslunds’ father’s first piece of furniture, that he had with him when he moved from home to a room in Roskilde, where he met Anders’ mom. “Think, how in love and happy he has been in that chair” says the son today.

Seen from the street, the house looks mostly like when it was built. But inside obvious changes have been made. A new kitchen in the same style as the old was built in the space that used to be a combined hall and foyer with a fireplace. The kitchen is now opened and connected to the living room. 

The stair to the first floor was also moved and Olaf Hansens original stair is replaced with a new one, which in many ways indicates 50’s architecture with light balustrades and shiny black handrails. The new stair, which was built by Johnny Larsen from Gelsted Carpenters and Cabinetmakers, fits the 50’s house perfectly. The same applies for the round corners, which were not a a part of the original house either. 

The new kitchen is a classic gallery kitchen, which is confusingly similar to the 1950s kitchen, that was too worn and was recycled with the new owners moved in. Dog ikke mere medtaget, end at det nu har fået en ny plads i bryggerset. 

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Around the new stair to the first floor there is made a little room in a room. Also here has Anders Barslund used colors to strengthen the effect and has painted the wall to the left of the stair in a dark color, Mouse’s Back. 

The walls in the new large open kitchen-dining area are painted with the color Old White. In the ceiling there are integrated acoustic panels, a must according to Anders Barslund. “It means, a conversation can still occur here, even though 40 people are gathered for a birthday.”

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The bedroom on the first floor is very simple. The window looks out on the garden, therefore the wall is painted a green nuance, so that it dissolves the border between out and in. 

The large bathroom in the first floor was formerly a girl’s bedroom. The cabinet wall is walnut and built by a cabinetmaker. The floor is laid with a new white terrazzo.

In the house’s smallest bathroom on the ground floor, where in addition of a toilet and sink there was just enough room for a built-in bathtub, everything is clad with exclusive lavastone with ceramic glazing from Made a Mano. 

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