Presented with the rare opportunity to renovate one of Copenhagen’s few remaining preserved villas, Danish design studio Frama thoughtfully transformed an old horse stable into an elegant modern home for a design-minded couple.
The clients, Sofie Bull and Morten Sørdahl, had been familiar with the firm’s more experimental work, but it was a visit to Frama founder Niels Strøyer Christophersen’s home—a minimalist Copenhagen apartment artfully converted from an old watchmaker shop—that convinced the couple of a shared design ethos.
"They appreciated the honest materiality we work with and the straightforward approach to architecture and furniture-based solutions," explains Head Designer Cassandra Bradfield. "That said, they wanted us to create solutions with a sleek attention to all details. Natural materials, but in their most perfect form."
Working in close collaboration with the couple, Frama planned the redesign of the interior section by section, while leaving the protected heritage facade, built in 1878 by Georg Møller, intact.
Named the Stable House after its former function, the two-story home features an office space on the lower level and the sleeping quarters upstairs.
"We went rather slow, discussing each piece in depth, making it, and moving on to the next to ensure a tight collaboration—and to ensure cohesiveness," adds Bradfield. "Due to the sloping ceiling and the existence of ceiling beams, placing anything in the space is dramatic because it takes up a lot of visual and (physically usable) space. So, in this sense we wanted to tailor every solution to be in dialogue with the architecture."
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The meticulous design process spanned nearly three years, and it led to the creation of custom furnishings (Frama works in multiple creative disciplines—from interior design to furniture and lighting design). The custom-made pieces are complemented with designs from Frama’s permanent collection, as well as other designs by Vitra and Artek.
Clean lines and a minimalist palette of natural materials, shades of cream, and brass accents help focus the eye on the building’s existing geometry—from the sloping roofline to the curved windows.
To highlight the ceiling beams and preserve a sense of spaciousness, the architects inserted an oak-framed glass partition that delineates the bathroom area—the interior of which is dressed in floor-to-ceiling terrazzo molded on-site.
"The bathroom is deceptively simple...the materiality glides from the floor to the walls, seemingly without end," explain the designers, who add that the bathroom is their favorite part of the project. "The floor curves up the wall, creating the appearance of a singularly molded terrazzo room, with a solid terrazzo sink jutting out."
"We added simple transitions within the space, such as a delicate brass line from floor to wall which creates a gesture between the bathroom area from the shower and tub ‘room.’ The stones and details are more beautiful the closer you get to it."
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