As if there were no rain on the Faroe Islands. All too typical: When you actually need something, like pouring rain on an archipelago that’s sort of the homeland of rain, it’s not available. Fallback option: We create our own rain.
Eyðun Eliasen brings on the water hose. He’s standing outside, I’m staying in his living kitchen-area. Runs! At this very moment, the poetical element of his architecture becomes blatantly obvious. Well-aimed drops of water run down huge panes of glass, performing a delicate ballet of beads.
To my mind, that’s exactly what makes Eyðun’s architecture so special: its poetic diction. Good architecture, like good poetry, is implacably precise. It not only requires an idea of what the architect wants to express, but also consistent implementation. In order to move our hearts, every artistic statement needs a proper foundation. The same is true for architecture.
The house Eyðun has designed for himself and his family is overlooking much of the Faroese capital Tórshavn. A project that, from the very beginning, forced him to deal with much more than cardinal directions, floor plans, material selection and cost control. Eyðun has also built a house on expectations, emotions and lifetime wishes. His wife, lawyer Rúna F. Guttesen, the girls Eydna and Bára; each family member has been involved.
It took Eyðun six months to do all the drawing and to build the final architectural model, before the construction work finally started. Like a poet, an architect needs to come up with a well-defined overall meter pattern. Otherwise, his ideas will not survive the transition from brainchild to reality. Eyðun succeeded. He made his family’s dream come true.
The result: certainly something to be proud of. A house that perfectly suits everyone’s needs. Just the right combination of space, form, structure, function, interior design and poetic power. Like: Drops of water performing a ballet of beads on a glassy stage. Sunshine, snow, storm and heavy rain. „We wanted to be able to experience all seasons – from the inside of the building“, Eyðun explains. Are you ready for some poetic architecture and a house tour in Tórshavn? Take off your shoes and come along.
The core. „At the very place where we spend most of our time being awake“, Eyðun tells me. A mixture of family room, panoramic view and dining area. Classical kitchen? Negative report. The kitchen has literally been built into the walls. Another unique feature: the huge glass panels and windows on three sides. The core: Meeting place and public area, clearly visible. Big sliding door to deck. Large outdoor area. Feel the breeze.
Elements of poetry: Windows serve as picture frames. Artwork: The view. Tórshavn and the island Nólsoy. Experience all seasons without being cold, blown down or getting wet. Nature’s soundtrack, 24 hour performance, front row seat. Public, bright and open. Need an unwatched moment? Draw the big curtains. Daylight will display the curtains’ natural structure.
The cave. Upper floor, next to the core. The smaller living room that gives the family privacy. Built-in sofa, TV, personal belongings.
Elements of poetry: The lowest segment of a sloping ceiling (2,10 meters in situ) creates a feeling of security, coziness and shelter. Retreat, rest and recharge. Watch sunlight or snowflakes dance on the 35 square meter terrace. Variations of lights and shadow plays inside the cave. Secluded post of observation.
Closets, cabinets, shelves. With or without doors. All over the house. Various usages. Office and hallway: storage space. Master bedroom: wardrobe. Children’s rooms: toys and playing area. Core and cave: From kitchen to bookcase.
Elements of poetry: Inside the entrance hall’s multi-level closet, a secret passage leads from the ground-floor to the basement. A treat for the kids – hide and go seek. The same goes for things. Hide them or let them be the center of interest. Closets: ingenious. One basic idea, different versions. Universally usable. The never-ending closet story. For future projects, Eyðun is working on another enthralling idea: flexible rooms via flexible walls.
Niceties. Floors: Terracotta-colored linoleum. A special kind of red. Ceilings: sound-absorbing. Geothermal heat pump system and heating pipes in the floors. Impressive light effects, natural and LED. Staircase, bedside tables, window benches, storage walls: birch. In the children’s rooms, the windows are deliberately placed in the middle of the closet walls.
Elements of poetry: The deep window frames can be used for all kinds of purposes. Use it as a table to play on. A sitting accommodation. Or even create a separate small room. Blue, orange, yellow, green: For their rooms, Eydna (11) and Bára (9) have picked the colors themselves. Bathrooms: Subtly giving you a comfortable bog-feeling. Red floors: general energy boost.