Sustainable wooden house in Sydhavnen

Right on the waterfront at Sydhavnen in Copenhagen sits a small architectural gem of a wooden house. Originally occupied by a car workshop, the plot has been transformed into a house in one of Copenhagen’s most fashionable districts.

Troldtekt Copenhagen South harbour
Photo: Tommy Kosior, Troldtekt A/S

When Heidi and Bram Andersen, both architects, decided to move from Aarhus to Copenhagen, Sydhavnen was not in their sights as a potential place to live. However, quite by chance they came across pictures of the old fishing harbour, and they were immediately hooked by the area’s unique atmosphere. Here, side by side with sailing clubs, nature conservation areas and old fishermen’s dwellings and on a small plot with views of the harbour, they seized the opportunity to build their dream house.

From car workshop to architectural gem

The plot that Heidi and Bram fell for was the site of an old car workshop, which they have transformed into a modern and sustainable wooden house. The house is spread across 114 square metres on three floors, and every square metre is used to the full.

“It was important for us to create a home which is as functional as possible. This has been achieved by making the most of the height and, not least, creating an open-plan interior with interconnected rooms across the floors,” says Bram Andersen. 

A compact house needs good acoustics

However, a small house with large open spaces is acoustically challenging, particularly because of the hard concrete floor on the ground floor. The couple therefore decided early on to clad all the ceilings in Troldtekt acoustic panels in natural wood, which harmonises well with the other natural materials used in the rebuild.

“The Troldtekt acoustic panels not only create good acoustics, they also add coherence. The ceiling contrasts beautifully with the hard concrete floor on the ground floor, and on the other levels where the floors are covered with birch veneer, it creates a sense of continuity with the natural, light materials,” says Bram Andersen.

Sustainability inside and out

The choice of Troldtekt was also very much in line with the couple’s desire to create a sustainable home. For example, the facade is covered with acacia wood with an estimated useful life of 70 years, and the wood fibre insulation and the masonry heater ensure a warm and pleasant indoor climate.

“Right from the design phase, we thought about how we could create a beautiful and fully functional home in the most sustainable way. Thanks to the masonry heater, the east-facing windows and the solar panels, our house is warm, but inexpensive to heat. However, sustainability has also been a keyword in our choice of materials,” says Bram Andersen.