The Architect’s Cliffside Home in Denmark | Kim Utzon

Gilleleje / Denmark

33
33 Love 5,782 Visits Published

On top of a sheer cliff side, 40 meters above sea level on the most northern point of Zealand, Denmark, lies a house drawn and built by the owner himself. As the son of renowned Danish architect, Jørn Utzon, Kim Utzon’s interest in architecture is not inherited from strangers. In 2016, Kim and his wife Charlotte bought a piece of land in the small fishing village of Gilleleje. Here, the architect imagined a wooden cottage in cedar, copper, and endless glazing to invite the spectacular surroundings inside.


THE HOUSE
With a dream of building their own house, the former patrician villa on the plot was practically demolished and white walls and tile roof were exchanged with cedar tree cladding and a cobber roof. Within the frames for building along the listed coastline, Kim drew a two-floor contemporary villa of 120 m2 and after a year of construction the couple could call it their new home. The extreme exposure to nature required strong materials to withstand heavy winter storms passing in from the sea. With a panorama view to Kattegat, glazing proved to be an essential aspect of the architecture. With floor to ceiling glass walls blurring the boundaries between inside and outside, the natural elements of sea, sky and forest becomes a picturesque part of the interior.


“It’s a tradition in my family that we build our own houses. My father drew my childhood home, and this house is the third I build for my family”, says Kim who has also built a house down the road for the couple’s son, David Utzon, who is an artist.


THE VIEW
With unspoiled view to Kullen in Sweden, the home faces the approach to the Baltic Sea from Kattegat. A large south-west facing sundeck benefits from the sunset and view to the small harbour of Gilleleje where the couple always buy fresh fish. The 45 degrees cliff side is part of the 2300 m2 land and is overgrown with thicket hiding a 200-step stairway down to a private beach, where the couple often descends for a swim with their dog Selma.
Total immersion in nature is what drew the couple to Gilleleje and back to the Danish north coast after having lived in both Copenhagen and Gothenburg. With Kim’s architect practice, Kim Utzon Arkitekter, placed in the capital, he does get a daily dose of city life but enjoys retreating to nature after a day of conceiving new architecture.


THE INTERIOR
A bright colour scheme transcends the home of two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen and combined living and dining room. White walls are given a splash of colour with the couple’s extensive collections of paintings including oil canvases made by their son. The interior is done by Charlotte who has chosen a blend of wooden furniture, Danish design classics, Chinese vintage cupboards, and a black steel kitchen from Vipp.


THE KITCHEN AND LIVINGROOM
A black wall and tall module from Vipp comprise the south facing kitchen in open connection to the living room and with glass doors opening to the terrace. A wooden table and customized oak shelves from Københavns Møbelsnedkeri soften the steel kitchen.
The living room interior is comprised by a Vitra sofa and coffee table accompanied by a Poul Kjærholm stool. A Vipp side table is lid up by a Kaiser Idell lamp. A small collection of Picasso vases, Buddha figures and a Ganesh elephant add a slice of foreign influence to the Nordic interior.


THE BATHROOMS AND BEDROOM
Both bathrooms are covered in Norwegian Oppdal slates and kept simple with bathroom furniture from Vipp. The first-floor bathroom benefits from the natural skylight from the sloping roof windows. A Hästens bed dominate the bedroom together with two Green Square nightstands. A Chinese vintage cupboard from local store ‘Siam’, holding a Vipp table lamp and painting by David Utzon, break the Nordic style with its red colour and gold ornaments.

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    On top of a sheer cliff side, 40 meters above sea level on the most northern point of Zealand, Denmark, lies a house drawn and built by the owner himself. As the son of renowned Danish architect, Jørn Utzon, Kim Utzon’s interest in architecture is not inherited from strangers. In 2016, Kim and his wife Charlotte bought a piece of land in the small fishing village of Gilleleje. Here, the architect imagined a wooden cottage in cedar, copper, and endless glazing to invite the...

    Project details
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Single-family residence / Interior Design / Custom Furniture
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