Bakkedraget | Reinterpretation of a historic cottage

Bakkedraget | Reinterpretation of a historic cottage

Bakkedraget is a reinterpretation project of a historic cottage located in Denmark. This was re-designed by architects Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter together with a collaboration with LASC Studio. Below you can see the original photo of the old cottage and how this beautiful space has evolved to live on.

Bakkedraget - Cottage and shed before rebuilding - Exterior 1981.jpg

This was originally built in 1905 as two detached log houses that later merged by the addition of a kitchen. The cottage was gradually transformed, including architect Ivar Bentsen’s addition of a stove and chimney, and introduction of a new shed.

Bakkedraget 02 - Exterior - Cottage and shed - Photo_Laura Stamer.jpg
Bakkedraget 05 - Passage - Cottage - Photo_Laura Stamer.jpg

The cottage is located within a protected landscape alongside historic vacation homes, carefully placed in slopes of overgrown moraine and sand dunes that rise from the surrounding flatlands. The reconstruction’s ambition is to recreate the quality and atmosphere of being in the old cottage before it was left unused and timber infestation made a rebuilding unavoidable.

Bakkedraget 04 - Courtyard - Cottage - Photo_Laura Stamer.jpg
Bakkedraget 25 - Living room - Cottage - Photo_Laura Stamer.jpg

The structure is rebuilt as a lightweight timber frame construction, allowing the exterior to maintain the protected expression of the old cottage. The new interior interprets the memories and accumulated features for contemporary conditions, informed by the modern structure, and expressed through partly painted wooden surfaces, peculiar alcoves and niches.

Bakkedraget 07 - Living room - Cottage - Photo_Laura Stamer.jpg
Bakkedraget 09 - Loft, alcove - Cottage - Photo_Laura Stamer.jpg


Exterior walls are internally clad in wide horizontal boards referring to formerly exposed logs. The walls separating rooms are clad in thinner vertical boards. Pressure resistant roof insulation enable the rafters to remain exposed under the roof. The original disposition of rooms is slightly altered; walls separating shared spaces are removed, though the separation they created can still be traced through material changes. A tiled grid is laid out in the hallway, kitchen and bathroom, shifting in colour between the spaces. Wooden walls are left untreated or painted in colours drawn from the former interior. Niches and alcoves are recreated by leaving wooden surfaces unpainted.

Bakkedraget 12 - Bathroom 01 - Cottage - Photo_Laura Stamer.jpg
Bakkedraget 15 - East facade - Cottage - Photo_Laura Stamer.jpg

These strategies allow rooms and the overall disposition to be continuous yet self-contained, introducing a density of personal unconventional spaces. The original cottages’ complexity is reinterpreted as a clearly defined patchwork of shifting materials and colours, visible from one room to the next, creating a contemporary space pragmatically reinterpreting the past.

Bakkedraget 28  - Bedroom, loggia - Cottage - Photo_Laura Stamer.jpg
Bakkedraget 17 - Courtyard - Cottage - Photo_Laura Stamer.jpg
Bakkedraget 19 - Kitchen - Cottage - Photo_Laura Stamer.jpg
Bakkedraget 23 - Living room - Cottage - Photo_Laura Stamer.jpg

Photography: Laura Stamer

Architect Website: johansenskovsted.dk

Instagram: @johansenskovsted


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