A maintenance-free holiday home
Elin Donskov
Denmark
2018

A maintenance-free holiday home

Aksel Jermstad

Long-lived rustic wood with a weathered patina is a dream for any architect designing homes for open landscapes, says architect Elin Donskov.

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.

Hard to tell from hardwood

”Kebonys unique impregnation makes the softwood heavy and hard, so it’s actually difficult to tell from a hardwood in terms of both appearance and quality”.

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.”

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