Project Name: The Fanø Summer House

Date Completed: September 2018

Interior Designer: Staffan Tollgard, Tollgard Design Group

Architect: Knud Holscher

Construction Company: Kvadrat Bygg

The Fanø Summer House fuses architecture, interiors and environment. It is a place to decompress, to connect as a family and appreciate the bigger, more important picture. The island of Fanø has always been a special place for the clients and their family: the Danish-born wife spent her summers as a child there, and in turn her family has owned a summer house there for over a decade. The family fell in love with the simple yet striking buildings that architect Knud Holscher had completed in the past. Having worked with Staffan Tollgård on their home and commercial premises in London, they invited him to join their design journey.

Born and raised in Stockholm, the idea of the summer house retreat is one that speaks strongly to Staffan’s own childhood and values. “I take my own children back to our family’s summer house on the lake as often as I can. The connection with nature and the escape from city life act as a reset button for all of us. When designing the interiors of Fanø, I was determined to connect it as coherently to the landscape as possible: to create a retreat from city life that extended to the choice of every material and piece of furniture”.

The Scandinavian notion of the red thread is one that Tollgard Design Group uses in every project as a shorthand to describe the creative design DNA. Pulling together clues from the architecture, from the cultural history, environment, from the client’s own personalities and the questions of living that need to be solved by the design, the red thread draws a protective framework around the project, linking architecture with interiors, client with design.

For this project the red thread was the visual and sensory connection with a uniquely Danish natural setting. This was expressed by fusing inside with outside as seamlessly as possible, using vernacular and true materials as simply as possible. Comfortable, functional minimalism was the goal so that the clients could enjoy every space to its fullest and detach from the buzz of city life left behind.

There is a seemingly effortless connection between the interior and exterior architecture, and then between inside and outside. For so many of Tollgard Design Group’s projects they insert a contemporary interior into a 300-year-old building.  Of course, the juxtaposition created by this has its merits. Here though, it was enormously satisfying to create the interiors in real time alongside a world-renowned architect crafting a modern dwelling entirely fit for purpose.