DANSKBOLIGARKITEKTUR: Improving the everyday life of people
Working with people from all walks of life, DANSKBOLIGARKITEKTUR focuses not on grand structures but on the enhancement of everyday life. This has led to a number of private extensions, renovations, and – as volunteer for Architects Without Borders – mobile homes for homeless people.
TEXT: SIGNE HANSEN | PHOTOS : DANSKBOLIGARKITEKTUR
MAIN IMAGE: DANSKBOLIGARKITEKTUR has created a string of renovations and extensions all over Denmark
Founded by architect, university guest lecturer, and carpenter Kim Pretzmann Olesen, DANSKBOLIGARKITEKTUR has created a string of projects all over Denmark. Though widely different, all projects express the founder’s passion for everyday architecture created in dialogue with its users. “I enter into a project with all of my being, and I believe that by doing that, I manage to find the core of every project,” says Olesen. “I find that materialising that essence through everyday architecture is very rewarding; the everyday is where people live their lives, and by bringing in elements that combine functionality and enhanced materiality, we can create spaces where people feel happy and relaxed, spaces with comfortable lighting, a healthy climate and a positive atmosphere for life to unfold in.”
Volunteering for Architects Without Borders, founder Kim Pretzmann Olesen has helped design a mobile house for homeless people.
Since founding his own firm just about a year ago, Olesen has worked with renovations and extensions of private homes. In the process, he uses his expertise both as an architect and as a carpenter, a qualification he took in 2013 to improve his knowledge of wood and building techniques. “My love for wood as a building material is difficult to hide – it’s an amazing material when it comes to everything from its environmental qualities and its low carbon footprint to its natural qualities in creating a healthy indoor climate. But despite wood having been used widely in the Nordic countries in the past, the material’s intrinsic qualities have lagely been forgotten in Denmark’s modern building industry,” explains Olesen.
One of the projects in which Olesen has used the natural qualities of wood is a mobile home for homeless people, which he helped design as a volunteer for Architects Without Borders. Including the homeless people in the design process, the project aimed to create safe frames for them to live the everyday life that they know and feel safe in. “Despite being a small firm, we still work with social responsibility both directly and through designs that further social consciousness – it’s interconnected, and finding that connection is about dialogue,” says Olesen, and rounds off: “It’s about finding the core of people’s everyday life to create architecture that can help lift and enhance that, and with the feedback I have had, it’s clear that that is something in high demand, which is why I’ll soon be expanding my firm with more employees.”
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