finn juhl house

September 12, 2013

Recently Dskool reader Valerie emailed this video featuring Danish Modern icon Finn Juhl’s house. Shot by filmmaker Thorsten Dreijer, this lyrical tour methodically explores every landscape of home, from the exterior views right down to the minutia on the shelves, revealing not only the man behind the house, but also an important lesson in design.

Starting where one might expect, with the prospect of the house from the outside, Dreijer slowly pans with his lens in and out to convey not only how the house relates to the landscape, but also how each subsequent feature relates to the next, serving to coax your interest and draw you, the visitor, in. Once inside, the filmmaker continues in this manner of exploration, shooting the wide view and then focussing in on a single vantage point to reveal how each detail relates, first to the whole, then to a smaller vignette, and then ultimately stands as an object of art in and of itself.

If you stay with the video long enough, what becomes clear is how, rather than appearing studied, this kind of intentionality in design actually serves to relax the visitor in the space. This complementary setting, where things seems to flow organically right from the individual and where nothing jars the senses by seeming forced or out of place, actually lulls you into a feeling of comfort and peace.

All this I already knew to be true. But ultimately what I found so interesting about Finn Juhl’s house was how a home as authentic as his can engage you so effectively, EVEN if it is not what you might consider “your style.” May the design Gods strike me down for admitting this, but Danish Modern is not my preferred aesthetic. But this fact did not hamper my enjoyment of this tour of a Mid-Century icon. Instead, I found myself being drawn in, not by this piece of furniture or that architectural detail, but by the personality, effortlessly conveyed by the entirety of the home.

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