A small family house in Copenhagen | Sigurd Larsen
Architect Sigurd Larsen designed this small family house to be economical to build. The floor plan is a simple rectangle and the gable roof has no dormers, hips or valleys to add complexity and cost. A central bearing wall supports the roof ridge, allowing the home to have vaulted ceilings without the expense of a large roof beam. The roof could probably have been built for less using standard manufactured roof trusses, but then it would have to have flat ceilings. Prefabrication also helped to lower the construction cost. The walls were built in a factory and delivered to the building site in large sections with most of the wood exterior cladding already installed.
The central bearing wall divides the 80 m2 (861 ft2) house exactly in half, with the social spaces in the front half and the three bedrooms and bathroom lined up along the back. There is also a small entry and utility area behind the kitchen, with closets for coats, general storage, the laundry machines and the water heater.
The architect eliminated hallways in order to maximize the usable floor area. The drawback of this design is that two bedrooms, the ones that would likely be occupied by the children of the family, open directly off the living room. That isn’t ideal in terms of providing the occupants with privacy or a quiet sleeping environment.
Though located in a dense residential area of the Danish capital, the small house has a large and private front garden. The architect took advantage of that, giving the south-facing living space a fully-glazed wall. In addition to the glass front door, two sliding doors provide direct access from the living and dining areas to a sunny patio.
The interior finish consists of three materials: concrete for the heated floors, white plaster covering the outside walls and ceiling, and birch veneer plywood for the interior partitions and kitchen cabinetry. The use of birch plywood was a cost-effective way to include a large expanse of wood finish. The interior doors are faced with the same birch. As a final touch, the architect placed a small window high in the gable wall and right in the corner, allowing the last rays of the setting sun to play over the wood surface.
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