What: Accommodation in renewable materials. 
Where: Vallekilde, Denmark.
When: 2021.
By: Arcgency
Client: Vallekilde Højskole
Photo: Stine West / Arcgency​​​​​​​
How do you attract qualified educators to a village in rural denmark? Since 1865 Vallekilde højskole has been a focal point for education, new knowledge and curiosity. The school is a vital part of the local community. The architectural tradition and teaching of craftsmanship has shaped the entire village. House on the hill is the newest addition to the school. Depending on the school's needs it can function as a dwelling, guest house, and residency for artists or musicians during the summer months. The house is placed next to the school's orchard on a slope overlooking the fertile soil of the Lammefjord polder. The synergy of the landscape, the local community and the characteristic housing makes Vallekilde a desirable place to live and work. 
Keeping it simple
Inside out the house is built from wood. The project has lived up to its ambition to use only healthy sustainable materials and to keep things simple to ensure it was feasible to build on site by a small team of local carpenters. The timber frame construction is insulated with wood fiber and clad in larch, a material known for its durability, high density and weatherproofing properties. Besides contributing to a good indoor climate, building in wood removes more CO2 from the atmosphere than it adds through manufacture. The inside has been treated with lye leaving the wood with a natural and tactile surface - the outside is painted in yellow and red owing to the Schools famous gymnastics come village hall by architect Martin Nyrop who is best known for designing Copenhagen city hall. 
Minimalist house generous space
The house consists of two volumes tied together by a greenhouse - a configuration that enables diverse use. When used as a one family home the green house becomes a generous entrance and winter garden adding extra space to the modest footprint. Used as shared housing the green house becomes a communal space allowing informal meetings between inhabitants. 
The spectacular light, the changing sky and the landscape of the region has attracted artists and painters over the last century - these everyday elements are celebrated through the architecture. You find the round window framing the view and creating a space for thought, the windows placed high under the pitched roof flooding the ceiling with light, bringing the interior wooden surfaces to life, and the panoramic view that meets you in the kitchen allowing your sight to wander beyond the horizon.

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