The architect, Jesper Therkildsen has transformed one of Fredericia’s old, forgotten backyards into an oasis in the town centre. The original history of the building lives side by side with the family’s modern everyday life: getting together in the home cinema, assembling in the open plan kitchen or chilling out on the roof terrace with a view of the roofs and green ramparts of the town.
“Our aim was to use all the space we have: not by forming loads of small rooms, but by creating some beautiful, special settings and experiences. We raised the bar for the project several times along the way and chose the best materials and the most fabulous kitchen. We allocated a lot of space to the large open staircase, and I used a ton of energy and a small fortune on creating lighting in a league of its own, both inside and out. We also wanted to preserve as much of the original building as possible and to ensure the framework would still retain something of its old character. But getting a craftsman to build something intentionally crooked is a bit of a challenge,” laughs Jesper Therkildsen.
The large kitchen-dining room was a major priority from the outset. The exposed beams and rough brickwork reflect the building’s past and interact with the brand new Multiform kitchen.
“The aesthetics of the old building won half the battle, and the rustic walls and visible structures presented us with some very special options. For me it was always a matter of highlighting the contrasts, because that’s what makes the building so fascinating. That’s why the kitchen combines elements of smoked oak, steel and white lacquered wood, which is a vivid contrast to the rough brickwork. Instead of being concealed, the pipes to the cooker hood are visible, helping create the industrial vibe, which is a major feature of the building. The design of the kitchen emerged from its connection with the space. It was much more about creating a space than simply installing a new kitchen. That’s why I chose to use Multiform. They can provide the quality I think this setting deserves. I also love the surfaces and quality of Multiform’s elements – and the fact that they have a flexibility that provides me with countless options as an architect. The practical solutions were chosen on the basis of the features we want as a family. This is where we unwind and get together, and we’re not too proud to watch a film while we’re eating,” explains Jesper.
Like the rest of the back building, the kitchen is proof that Jesper and Karin have not made any compromises: neither in terms of aesthetics, personal solutions nor materials. The floors have wide Dinesen Douglas Pine floorboards, and the interior design reflects a life, in which enjoyment is top priority. The setting plays an active role in the life Karin and Jesper envisaged for themselves when they embarked upon the backyard project.