inspiration

In trying to define Danish style, in architecture and in interiors in the 20th century, words used regularly include light, space, craftsmanship and simplicity together or in some combination. In trying to find the source for this style, one place to look is at the architecture and furnishings of churches in Denmark.

The church at Hellerup was built about 1900 as Copenhagen expanded northwards with new suburbs. The exterior is simple and austere in a historic romantic style … the simple stone carving, inspired by Viking decoration, and the use of monumental stonework - that is large and rough cut blocks of stone - is also typical of the period. The architect was Thorvald Jørgensen (1867-1946) whose major work was his designs for the Palace of Christianborg - the seat of the Danish Parliament - after he won an open competition for the commission in 1905.

The interior of Hellerup Kirke is a beautiful space, simple but very light, and the furnishings, mostly in light oak, are in the Arts and Crafts Style popular in Denmark by the late 19th century. The style is defined as Skønvirke ... the Danish version of Arts and Crafts in England or Jugendstil or Art Nouveau in other countries. It is not surprising to discover that Jørgensen began his training as a carpenter before attending the Academy in Copenhagen to study architecture. 

The font is particularly good. Here, in the interior of the church, you can see the qualities of simple, restrained design combined with craftsmanship of the highest quality.

This is exactly the qualities found in the furniture for domestic use designed by Kaare Klint and the masters of Danish furniture design in the first half the 20th century.