Mid-Century Modern

When Peter Mahler, CEO of the Danish furniture brand Please Wait to be Seated came across the opportunity to buy a mid-century modern house, it is without exaggeration to state that a dream became reality. The house is situated in Vedbæk, a 20 minute drive from Copenhagen north along the unique road called Strandveien (“the shore road”) with the great Øresund sea view. The house is designed by the renowned Danish architects Jørgen Bo and Vilhelm Wohlert, and was completed on site in 1964. In fact, it was designed in 1959 and presented at an exhibition in Copenhagen as a housing vision and idea for the future. Prior to that the architects Bo and Wohlert had in 1958 completed their commission to design the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, located in Humlebæk further north up on Strandveien, and a famous example of Scandinavian mid-century modern architecture.

The style emphasized creating structures with ample windows and open floor plans, with the intention of opening up interior spaces and bringing the outdoors in. Many mid-century houses utilized groundbreaking post and beam architectural design that eliminated bulky support walls in favor of walls seemingly made of glass. The late 50´ and the 60´were a heyday of Danish architecture and design, and Peter Mahler´s house in Vedbæk is one of several famous houses along Strandveien, including the Bellavista housing estate by Arne Jacobsen from 1934 as well.

Photo & text by NYTT ROM, published in NYTT ROM issue 73.

The design of the house dates back to 1959 and is characterized by a significant horizontal wall, in this case a white painted brick wall. It functions as the core of the house connecting to the different living areas.
A unique patterned white painted brick wall brings texture to the surface, and was first introduced by the architects Jørgen Bo and Vilhelm Wolhert at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.
The white brick wall and the vertical wooden repetitious window frames are the architects famous and recognizable features.
Inside you are struck by the orientation of the house towards the outdoor area. This emphasizes the creation of structures with ample windows and open floor plans, with the intention of opening up interior spaces and bringing the outdoors in.
On the entrance side, to the east and the morning sun are the bedrooms and bathrooms located. This zone is 70 cm above ground level, to emphasize privacy and distance to the garden.
The house is also build on the idea that all rooms can be reached via a central hall just off the entrance with characteristic round skylights often used in houses from the same period.