Johansen Skovsted

Reinterpretation of historic cottage

Johansen Skovsted . Reinterpretation of historic cottage afasia (2)

Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter . Lasc Studio . photos: © Laura Stamer

The cottage is located in a protected landscape with historic vacation homes carefully placed in slopes of overgrown moraine and sand dunes, rising from surrounding flatlands. The reconstruction’s ambition is to recreate the sense and atmosphere of being in the old house before it was left unused and timber infestation made a rebuilding unavoidable.


Built in 1905 as two detached log houses later merged by the addition of a kitchen, the house was gradually transformed, including architect Ivar Bentsen’s addition of a stove and chimney, and supplemented by a shed. The interior acquired a dense layered atmosphere of partly painted wooden surfaces, peculiar alcoves and niches.

The structure is rebuilt as a wooden light-frame construction, allowing an exterior based on the protected expression of the old house. The new interior interprets memories and accumulated features for contemporary conditions, informed by the modern structure.

Exterior walls are internally clad in wide horizontal boards referring to formerly exposed logs, the walls separating rooms are clad in thinner vertical boards. Pressure resistant roof insulation enable an exposed placement of the rafters under the ceiling. The original disposition of rooms is slightly altered, walls separating shared spaces are removed, though still present through material separation. A tile grid is laid out in the hallway, kitchen and bathroom, shifting in colour between the spaces. Wooden walls are left untreated or painted in colours drawn from the former interior. Niches and alcoves are recreated by leaving wooden surfaces unpainted.

These strategies allow rooms and the overall disposition to be continuous yet separate, introducing a density of personal unconventional spaces. The original house’s complexity is reinterpreted as a clearly defined patchwork of shifting materials and colours, visible from one room to the next, creating a contemporary space pragmatically reinterpreting the past.

Reinterpretation of historic cottage
Location: Denmark
Year of construction: 2018
Engineer: Ingeniørgruppen Vestjylland

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