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Arne Jacobsen’s private home in Charlottenlund
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Arne Jacobsen’s private home on Gotfred Rodes Vej is considered an iconic example of Jacobsen’s international period. With its whitewashed walls and cubistic lines, this house represents the first time Jacobsen allowed himself to draw inspiration from international functionalism.
The house was built for Arne Jacobsen, his wife and two sons. Jacobsen lived in the house with his family until he was forced to flee Denmark to Sweden in 1943, just as thousands of other Jews did during the Second World War. Jacobsen’s family situation changed after the war, and the family moved elsewhere.
The house represents the first time Arne Jacobsen designed a property inspired by the international school of functionalism. Even though the building incorporates aspects typical of a bourgeois villa, it also looks to the future and a new era. Jacobsen’s personality and style can clearly be traced in the house’s spaces and many preserved details.
Two fundamentally different structures
The property represents two fundamentally different structures within the same architectural style. The original two-storey house with roof terrace dates from 1929 and in its basic design has a traditional brick masonry construction. In 1931, a design-office wing was added incorporating a garage and greenhouse constructed in pure reinforced concrete.
The main building comprises traditional masonry construction with white render. This is something of a paradox, as this was precisely what Jacobsen and the functionalist movement sought to move away from. The ideal was a house constructed from concrete, something which was not legal at the time, and for this reason Jacobsen had to go another route, namely to build a house “which is not what it seems”, instead of embracing the new trend towards honesty of form and function.