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copenhagen chronicles: clara zangenberg

by Grace Bonney

[this post is the eighth in a series of guest posts from our summer correspondent in copenhagen, brittany watson. thank you again to brittany for her beautiful posts this summer!]

I’ve been soaking in the beautiful, school-less life here in Denmark before another semester starts back up (boo hoo!). But first…one of my most exciting visits this whole summer…I visited graphic designer Clara Zangenberg at her stellar home just outside Copenhagen. The house was built by the famous Danish architect Vilhelm Lauritzen as his private residence in 1956 (more images of his work after the jump). Lauritzen also designed the Danish Embassy in Washington, DC and he took many of the same elements from his house and placed them into the embassy. So closely do they resemble each other that a movie set in the embassy in DC was filmed in their house. Not shabby huh? Clara was kind enough to show me pictures of the house as it was being built in Lauritzen’s retrospective.

It takes a discerning eye to recognize the low, cinder-block modern beauty and I’m glad it fell into Clara’s hands. She took the basic skeleton and enhanced it through carefully chosen pieces. The first striking feature is the bookcase cube placed right in the middle of the living room (above). She put four small-ish book cases together in the form of a square and sealed off the middle hole with a piece of wood from a desk found at the school where her husband worked. That with Zettel’z ceiling lamp placed above = brilliance.


CLICK HERE for the full post (and all 15 images on one page) after the jump!

Her art collection seemed destined to occupy the space. She began collecting works by artist Svend Johansen long before moving into the home, only to find out from her new next-door neighbor that Lauritzen and and Johansen were friends. Destiny! Johansen’s works along with works by Helge Refn and Ib Andersen complete the salon-style wall hangings.

Clara tried to keep as much of the original kitchen as possible but they had to update just a bit (like a modern stove!) and then added stainless steel countertops and appliances.

In my home visits I’ve noticed that Danes love to have not only white sparse walls, but white sparse, uncluttered beds. Isn’t it just asking to be jumped on? I found the drapery-hung closet a great solution to an ever-expanding wardrobe problem.

The sizable backyard was quite an oasis from the busy street-front location, especially the cozy little den they created with a white tarp. She supports her friend Tina Christensen by displaying two of her swinging chairs she made for Ikea.

Well, that’s it for now. I have a bunch to do before I take off (still one more house visit, yay! and tons of packing, boo!) -b.


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