Although born in Oslo, Danielle has roots in Denmark and the summerhouse in Liseleje, a small coastal town not far from Copenhagen, has belonged to her family through generations. The project is deeply rooted in family history and childhood memories as they all have spent most of their summer vacations there. The original cabin had aged beyond repair, so Danielle designed the new house based on the sentiments of recognition and reconnection.

“It is a place that is loaded with history, our history. It felt like a sensitive project, as we have all grown up here. I wanted to acknowledge the value of recognition in this project, so I have kept the same view as we had in the old house, the orientation of things. The old trees are still the same, so is the light that beams through the windows at a particular time of the day. The spirit of the old house lingers” she says.

The new summerhouse is a reinterpretation of the old cabin, where the key elements – the shape of the house, north-facing bedrooms, layout of the kitchen and bricks from the original fireplace – are incorporated into the new design. By elevating certain features while down-playing or removing others the house carries the traces of the past while facing the future.

The exterior with its inky black wooden facade, gable roof and white barred windows is inspired by the traditional Danish summerhouse tradition and fits effortlessly into the context. The interior is flooded with natural light and the combination of light soft tones and natural materials is used to achieve relaxing, serene, and timeless space as Danielle believes that a building should be able to stand the test of time and continue to grow and patinate with the people who use them.

Most of the interior – furniture, lamps, paintings, ceramics, and books with affectionate value from the old house found a new place in the new more spacious surroundings – fitting in effortlessly. The rest of the furniture and decorative objects are a mix of vintage and contemporary designer pieces and local flea market finds. It’s a house where the old meets new, the future is inspired by the past and the atmosphere is filled with sense of groundedness and belonging.

Photographer: Joachim Wichmann / Wichmann + Bendtsen Photography


Liseleje, Denmark 2020

DS Summerhouse

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