Danish architect Jesper Brask took his time— three years, to be exact—studying the site before pounding even one nail into the summer home he built for his family: wife, Lene, a doctor; and sons, Kristian, 21; Jens, 17; and Niels, 9. After buying an acre of densely wooded coastal land in Hald Strand—an hour’s drive from the family’s main house in North Zealand, north of Copenhagen—in 2003, he felled 150 Austrian pine trees to make way for what would become the house, to be constructed partly from the lumber. He set up a mobile sawmill and had the trees cut into planks. While the wood was curing, so too was the design scheme. "It took three years to get into the real spirit of the place— to feel the atmosphere and get the right ideas for the house," says Brask. During that time, on their visits, the family squeezed into a 100-square-foot trailer Brask brought to the land. "Spending that much time in nature on the site greatly influenced the way I designed the house," he says.
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