Poul Henningsen House.
Perhaps you are familiar with the Danish iconic lamp PH5 and the PH Artichoke lamp designed by Poul Henningsen (1894-1967). He was a man with many interests and talents such as being an architect, a writer, a cultural critic and a designer.
Poul Henningsen build his own house in 1937 with help from his architect colleague Viggo Møller-Jensen in the city of Gentofte, close to Copenhagen.
The house was build in eleven different levels on a hillside and was very unusual for its time because of the building materials and the final look. Concrete blocks, roofing felt and iron windows painted in red are some of the dominating and characteristic elements of the house. The house has a very raw and unfinished look unlike the other houses in the area. Poul Henningsen even called his house "The ugliest house in Gentofte”. Back then the house was very much an aesthetic slap in the face to conservative Danish high- and middleclass.
The house was open for the public for two weeks in September 2016 and I was very lucky to have a look myself. I was overwhelmed by its size and the choice of colors inside. I love the brave choice of mixing blue, green and red in the entire house and I especially like the evocative bedroom with its red wallpaper of naked women. The many levels in the house makes the experience of walking from room to room much more interesting and special. It was obvious that each room was made with a purpose and that Poul Henningsen thought through how to divide the house in different sections for example to separate the children section from the parents section.
The house has been a huge inspiration for architectural projects since then and will most likely continue to inspire the way we build new homes and our idea of functionality.
Photos by Silke Bonde and Kurt Rodahl Hoppe.