An Architectural Gem with Traditional Cover


On the outskirts of Farum, a small town 20 kilometres north of Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, the Posehuset country estate lies only a stone's throw from the country road. Right on the edge of the woods, the whitewashed, thatched house looks like any other traditional Danish country estate − at first sight. However, it is inhabited by an artist couple and features a private music studio and, hidden behind the plain walls of an old barn building, a modern studio that is used for workshops. It has a distinctive black aluminium roof with roof windows and solar collectors. It looks like the top of a designer treasure box.

"Posehuset" means bag house. The name came from the country estate former owner who had a passion for collecting plastic bags. When the artist couple Lone and Sören Asmusson bought the place a couple of years ago, they kept the distinctive name. Today, the Posehuset studio is known for a diverse range of artistic activities and music productions. There was simply not enough space for all the activities, experiments and productions in the workrooms and the music studio, so the couple had to tackle some of them in their private living room. Before long, the two artists decided to remodel the adjacent barn building into a daylight-flooded studio for the workshops.

At first, the couple planned to do the remodelling themselves; they had already successfully renovated the main building. "We started digging out the basement but soon agreed that we didn't have enough time to realise our architectural ideas while also taking care of our family, kids and our many artistic projects," says Lone. So they hired a team of daylight planners and architects to carry out the remodelling project.

Their basic idea was to transform the old barn into a multi-purpose workspace by installing a pre-built box with a roof structure. The box was to be placed inside the existing walls with the help of a crane. However, during the planning process it became clear that it would be difficult to fit a pre-built box inside the existing barn. So the studio was built on-site, within the old brick walls, and completed with a new wooden roof structure. The design and re-finement of the roof, with its system of differently-sized black aluminium plates took over a year. "With such limited ground space, the concept as a whole and all the details needed to be fine-tuned particularly well, just like cutting and polishing a gemstone. The roof breaks the limits of the building and forms a contrast to all the other architectural elements. Even the slope of the new roof is different from that of the main building," explains Brian Wendin, architect and daylight consultant at VELUX Denmark.