Design Project: A Sleek, Modern Home Inside A Converted Power Plant In North Copenhagen

A former water pumping station dating to 1902 has been completely transformed into one large open-plan, double-height space, with a modern staircase clad in aluminium that leads to a mezzanine floor overlooking the cavernous space below.

PROPERTY

A historic landmark of northern Copenhagen has been transformed into a modern two bedroom residence that now functions as a concept hotel. The former power plant was in ruins and had been sitting dormant for some years, until VIPP appointed Danish architecture firm Studio David Thulstrup to transform the property.

The heritage building, initially built as a water pumping station with a towering chimney in 1902, is reborn from ruins and has been fully restored, renovated and transformed into a contemporary living space while retaining the charm of the architectural shell. Named Chimney House, the property takes its name from its distinctive 35-metre high minaret shaped chimney, added to the 1902 building in 1928, and restored during this yearlong project.

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Created for VIPP, the property incorporates bold architectural interventions that honour the original structure of the former water pumping station but add a cutting edge contemporary overlay. The main structural change was a new upper level in steel (pictured above) that follows the gabled roofline of the original brick building and acts as a modern counterpoint to the narrow, towering chimney and its recognisable brickwork pattern. Existing arched windows were extended to ground level and turned into steel framed glass doors.

A modern staircase that’s clad in extruded aluminium panelling cuts through the double height main space, while bedrooms at mezzanine level feature floor to ceiling glass walls, offering views into the cavernous space below.

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OPEN-PLAN GROUND FLOOR

The entrance hall and adjacent cloakroom are the only areas on the ground floor that are not part of this large, open-plan space.

The concrete walls were coloured to perfectly match the terrazzo flooring that was developed by SDT. The small arched windows of the old brick façade (which were originally floating a few meters up the wall) were continued down to ground level to create four beautiful arched glass doors leading out onto a terrace. The terrazzo floor ties together all the ground floor spaces and continues out onto the terrace.

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The whole space has views into the terrace area with new landscaping by Yards Landscape, which includes a low maintenance evergreen garden of grasses and pines, as well as spotlights that illuminate the arches and the chimney, celebrating the historical landmark.

A modern, black kitchen with a striking kitchen island make a bold contrast against the white-washed walls. Designed by Danish design brand Vipp, the contemporary kitchen features Vipp´s signature matte black finish.

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The entire perimeter of the ground floor is adorned in 3.5m high curtains which curve quietly around the corners and retract into curtain coves behind the concrete block and the kitchen cabinets.

Get the look: Three Vipp pendants hang over the Vipp kitchen island.

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Next to the kitchen is a striking dining space.

A birch burl veneer dining table, custom designed by SDT, sits under three 5 metre-long pendant lamps made from stacked Perspex discs, specially designed to hang from the exposed pitched roof.

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A sleek, modern staircase punctuates through the space and leads up to the mezzanine level. The outer balustrade is clad in extruded brushed aluminium panels. A large skylight above the staircase floods the room with natural light.

On the other side of the staircase from the kitchen and dining space is a lounge and reading area.

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The existing façade walls are treated with a warm grey render so you sense the brick. This approach to the detailing honours the character of the building and delineates the new work.

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MEZZANINE LEVEL

The new L-shaped mezzanine has two bedrooms, each with 4.5 metre-high glass panels facing the atrium.

You can see from one bedroom to the other and there’s an exchange of natural light. It’s provocative in a way, and an architectural suggestion about flexible modern living where people can control their own levels of privacy.

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Both bedrooms have their own separate balconies.

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The bathroom is fully clad in large slabs of terrazzo. A large skylight in the bathroom keeps this space feeling light and airy.

Integrated and concealed built-in cupboards provide extra storage.

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Check into the historic landmark here.

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