Architect Bo Frederiksen has dreamt about living on the sunny side of Flensborg Fjord since he was young. Together with his wife Eva, he has finally created an outstanding minimalistic home from local brick and concrete at that precise location. It is an elegant stone block cut into the steep slope at the fjord in Egernsund, where the views prevail in every room. And with a black kitchen from Multiform that plays beautifully into the architecture.
Eva and Bo wanted a simple kitchen that also stood out enough as a piece of furniture in the room.
Each time the young high school student Bo Frederiksen went down Flensborg Fjord in his boat, he would look over at the houses as they bathed in sun on the south-facing slopes near Egernsund. It would be great to build a house there one day, the young man thought more than 40 years ago.
3 x architects
Bo Frederiksen knew he wanted to become an architect even before he knew how to spell the word and that is exactly what he became. He later married Eva, who is also an architect, and together they have two daughters, the younger of whom, Lin, is also an architect. The family lived and worked in the Copenhagen area for many years, during which time neither Bo nor Eva thought about the area near Flensborg Fjord at all. Until one day, when Bo, almost by chance, mentioned his childhood dream to an acquaintance who knew of some land for sale right on the sun-kissed slope towards the water. For the next 12 years, the architect couple, Eva and Bo, went around in circles – what were they actually going to build here?
“I have always been fascinated by the water and the sea, and I really value the fact that the land faces south-west and that the views are alive. You can look towards Germany and plenty of boats sail past – something is always happening on the water,” explains Bo, who grew up in Sønderborg.
“Egernsund is an old brickfield town and this is reflected in the house. Brick is also both beautiful and resilient and it is therefore suitable for the tough climate out here – the water almost reaches it. We therefore made the conscious choice to use hardened stone from Egernsund Tegl that can withstand the climate. The land itself also formed the basis for some logical decisions. There is a large drop from street level down to the sea, no less than nine metres, and this needed to be reflected by the house,” explains Bo.
The house looks modest from the road, and the entrance, which at first glance makes it look like a solid, low brick house is transparent with vast window areas on both sides, allowing you to see the sea even before you get inside. But from the side, and from the sea, you can see how the three floors of the house form part of the slope and open up towards the views.
“We have worked to ensure that the house is welcoming from the road, as it must also be cohesive with Egernsund and the other houses here. At the same time, it opens up towards the sea and the sides are more enclosed and “fort-like”, with narrow windows cut into the facade in an exciting pattern. It’s like a monolith in the slope,” Bo explains.
“The views are the key element in all rooms and we have therefore made a conscious choice to opt for an extremely minimalistic look.”
Their daughter, Lin Frederiksen, represents a new generation of architects and she has been a key player in developing the home at Egernsund. Like her parents, she loves the minimalistic style that allows the surroundings to play the main part when it comes to architecture.
The views are the most important on each floor of the home and the staircases between the floors are like a quay that continues all the way to the sea.
“The clouds and the water are the key elements in each room, and we have therefore made a conscious choice to opt for an extremely minimalistic look inside. This is done using few materials and colours, predominantly concrete and oak, in the large, light rooms. We took great inspiration from Japanese building culture, where space is not made for unnecessary things. The house itself is the furniture and the rooms become more and more private the further down you go. Our bedroom is on the bottom floor and opens onto the terrace and the staircase to the bathing jetty,” says Bo.
“Moving through the levels is simply exceptional, from the top all you see is the water, it’s almost like being at the top of a huge cruise ship but, when you walk down the stairs, the perspective constantly changes. There is great variation between the rooms, which is fascinating,” Eva explains.
Life simply works here
The move to Egernsund is one that the couple is making one step at a time. So far, they have spent the entire summer here, having had a chance to test life on board their newly built dream home by the sea. There is an outside shower at the base of the house, where a private concrete terrace has been established and an outdoor kitchen is on its way. They have listened to classical music and read books in the light rooms with views of the fjord. They have worked in the large office and made great meals in the carefully selected Multiform kitchen. And it works. Life here.
”A lot of people think that we are very far away, almost in the periphery of Denmark. But Egernsund is a nice little town with a great social life on the street. Copenhagen is just a couple of hours away and Hamburg is even closer”, Bo says.