Many Danes dream of a seaside holiday home with swooping gulls and fresh breezes. At Boeslum Strand, on the Jutlandic east coast of Denmark, architect Elin Donskov has created one such covetable home-from-home.
The acclaimed Danish architect has long-standing experience of designing all-year and holiday homes in scenic beauty spots. Her nature-near ethos calls for special architectural sensitivity.
“Building a home in a natural landscape calls for immense respect for the setting. A beachfront holiday home shouldn’t be overwhelming, but instead, blend in, so as not to drown out the colours and textures of the natural surroundings. Sustainable natural structural materials like high-grade wood harmonise perfectly with earth, sand, mountains, sea and sky,” she enthuses.
To withstand wind and weather
The holiday home at Boeslum Strand, near the city of Aarhus, enjoys a superb location with a 180-degree sea view to fascinate its occupants. For Elin, the exposed site means that the architecture and the structural materials are subject to stringent demands.
“One of the key factors for the style and durability of the building is its cladding. A natural facade that takes on a beautiful patina over time is a valuable investment, not to mention elegant. But it’s also essential to choose a cladding that can withstand wind and weather without constant maintenance, especially in locations exposed to strong winds and salt spray.”
When quality counts
The architect’s choice fell on Norwegian-developed Kebony, owing to the robustness and versatility of the wood.
“Kebony offers extremely long durability. Also, as it ages, it takes on a beautiful shade of grey. Another distinct advantage of Kebony is its amazing dimensional stability, making it easy to achieve precise detail in neat corners, for instance. As an architect, detail is actually one of the main factors I consider when picking out wood products for cladding,” she reveals.
For the home-owner, the main priority was wood with an elegant silvery shade of grey and a natural look, while it also had to be maintenance-free cladding.
Hard to tell from hardwood
According to Elin, long-lived rustic wood with a weathered patina is a dream for any architect designing homes for open landscapes. For other specifiers in the industry too, sourcing a wood product that is sufficiently robust and versatile to work with is an ongoing challenge. This is perhaps why the first people to catch on to Kebony tend to be the installers.
“But in this project, it was actually the client who proposed Kebony as an option to consider,” says Elin.
“At the design and planning stage, the carpenter was very keen on Kebony and its unique properties. The impregnation makes the softwood heavy and hard, so it’s actually difficult to tell from a hardwood in terms of both appearance and quality”.
A family favourite
Kebony is a big favourite with eco-aware families, as the wood is as safe as untreated wood, and contains no toxic chemicals. It also withstands sun and heat excellently, without overheating, which makes it an ideal option for terrace decking and other external features. The fact that Kebony is available in a range of profiles makes it easy to find the perfect type for any project.
Elin’s work means taking different clients and needs and wants into account, but she readily admits that she has a personal favourite among the Kebony types.
“Personally, I prefer Kebony’s Character wood for its natural knots. This makes it vibrant and interesting as a facade cladding, and lends a rustic quality to the home.”