House for a Grandmother / Philip Lütken

House for a Grandmother  / Philip Lütken - Interior Photography, Windows, Brick, Facade

Text description provided by the architects. In Copenhagen, Amager, you find a large suburban area of villas. Here, a grandmother moved into the house of her daughter. By selling her previous home, it became possible to finance the construction of a small extension to the daughter’s house. An extension that stands in connection with the existing, but at the same time functions as an independent home for the grandmother, or multiple generations that might come in the future.

House for a Grandmother  / Philip Lütken - Interior Photography, Table, Shelving, Windows
House for a Grandmother  / Philip Lütken - Interior Photography, Windows, Beam
House for a Grandmother  / Philip Lütken - Interior Photography, Table, Chair, Windows

The project extends the house through a series of rooms and niches stepping down in height to meet the scale of the garden. Throughout the project, corners are created inside as well as outside. The new house stands as a robust frame for the ordinary life that will unfold. The main space, with its generous height, can become a common space for both generations, while services and bedrooms become more protected and intimate in scale.

House for a Grandmother  / Philip Lütken - Image 16 of 18

The house is built as an exploration of our common Danish building tradition: brick, porous concrete, wood beams, and cavity walls. The project tries to understand how a house is built by making all these layers of the structure visible. To understand that the wall is not massive but made up of layers, each with individual properties. The inner load-bearing wall is built of large visible blocks, with great lintels expressing the weight of the house. Outside, the brickwork is shown as a light shell with thin frames around the window. These two layers don’t match up, which makes it possible to position the window frames in the cavity of the wall. This displacement between the two layers results in uneven brickwork where thick joints of lime mortar fill the gaps.

House for a Grandmother  / Philip Lütken - Interior Photography, Windows, Sink, Beam
House for a Grandmother  / Philip Lütken - Interior Photography, Closet, Shelving, Beam

Throughout the project, unnecessary layers have been removed in favor of saving the budget and instead refining the finishes and elements that are needed. The blocks have been painted directly with mineral silicate paint, allowing the blocks to become breathable and absorb the humidity of the house. Wooden beams have been left visible, and treated with wax. Outside, the lime mortar of the brickwork allows the bricks to be reused in the future. The bricks have been laid and mortared in one go, resulting in a rough expression. It is different from the existing but does not want to look new.

House for a Grandmother  / Philip Lütken - Interior Photography, Bedroom

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