Sunday, 19 December 2010

Day 355, on which John talks more Rødovre stuff [19.12.10]

Dag tre hundrede femoghalvtreds. Today was pretty awesome; 'cause it mainly consisted of me having lunch with my family - including my sixth month old cousin, who was suitably baby-like to keep us laughing for five hours straight. It's funny how much my sisters enjoyed holding his little hands and feeding him his shitty baby slop, when I'd rather not. I still like babies, sure, more than most guys I suppose - but I just don't have that maternal instinct that seems to be evident in most girls. They just want to say 'awww, look at his ikkle wikkle hands!' when I'm more interested in why he does what he does and how he picks up mannerisms from his parents. That old genetics interest of mine. But I guess I'm just a boring sod.

OK, back onto more details of the Rødovre Townhouse. Oh, I guess I'd better explain the name. You see, each of my houses is intended for a Danish location: the Ishøj House in the barren seaside town of Ishøj, and the Kongsholmparken Café for the green Kongsholmparken, a park near Ishøj. I wanted to continue my east-Sjælland houses, but somewhere a bit more urban. That's quite hard to find, especially outside of Copenhagen, in Denmark. Copenhagen is the only city. But I didn't want to put it in Copenhagen like some boring know-nothing-about-Denmark loser. I scouted around the Ishøj area and a bit further inland of Kongsholmparken and Brøndby I found the sizable town of Rødovre. It doesn't have any tightly-packed terraced houses, but there's a lot of open space that could be ideal to place forty identical terraced houses for the nonexistent masses of new residents. It had the space, it's near enough Ishøj for Björn to travel there from his home in Ishøj and it had an accent in its name. Not totally ideal, but the best I could find with ten minutes on Google Maps.

These four shots show the interior of the townhouse; without furniture. I thought it was important to show the interior bare as these are the bare bones of the building that will be in every copy of the house down the street, and it's the foundations for each homeowner to place their furnishings around and to fashion to their tastes. The top floor has a large open-plan area that the owners can divide (or not divide) to their tastes. Having an open-plan layout really accentuates the space and can make living in the building easier, too. I was surprised how much furniture I could fit in that top floor; it's a welcome change from the cramped Ishøj House and tinsy winsy Kongsholmparken Café.

Downstairs, there is a true flexible living space with walls that can be moved along channels in the floor to rearrange the layout of that bottom floor. Something I learnt from a documentary about Le Corbusier. This is where the homeowners can truly personalise their house, and create whatever sized rooms they like. There is a bank of windows across the ceiling at the front of the house and a door leading to a staircase running up to the garden at the back. It's important to keep this space as light and open as possible, which is why I didn't include so many walls and why I was adamant to include the bank of windows. I don't want it to be a gloomy basement. The inclusion of the stylish spiral staircase means that there's much more space than there would be with a normal, straight staircase, and more space means more possibilities.

Here you can see the flexible walls in the bottom floor in use: they can slide along two channels, or be moved onto the same channel. When I was arranging the rooms I placed tiles along the empty parts of the channels to cover up the gap, but in some cases that wasn't possible (damn Lego not having a 1x1 dark tan tile), so that's why you can see the channel revealed here. I'd still like to think that in the real version of the house there would be some sort of modular channel covering system that is stored in a drawer somewhere, or maybe a covering that snaps into place in the absense of a wall but can be pushed open when the wall is slid through the channel. Wouldn't be so hard to implement, the only problem would be getting the walls to turn corners in the channel... something like garage door, perhaps?

Oh yeah and the top photo there shows the door opening mechanism for the door/window that leads out to the garden. I was originally going to have it open outwards like a skylight that covered most of the steps, but then I realised that doing so would mean having dirty outdoor steps indoors, and it ruined (even more) the look of the back of the house. So it now opens inwards and only leaves one step indoors.

This final photo shows, as is my usual, all the furniture for the interior of the Rødovre Townhouse. Sadly I couldn't use pieces from the JOHN Collection III as it would mean revealing them to you, so I created all but one of these from scratch! Yeah, I know - the things I do for you, pfft. The only JCiii piece is that dressing table on the bottom-right, which I couldn't resist including because it fitted the downstairs colour scheme perfectly (downstairs colour scheme, by the way, is lighter than the upstairs one because I don't want it to look gloomy). My favourite piece from this has to be the long black drawer unit, which I love because it's so modular and modern-looking. Plus I got to use the 2x2 black jumper I have in it, which fitted like a sock (or some equally fitting thing). I struggled with the leg technique originally, because it was impossible to achieve what I wanted at only one stud's height and three plate's depth, but I kinda like the current leg technique.

Overall, I'd say I was quite proud of this townhouse. Whilst it is probably better than my other two houses simply because of scale and detail, there is something about it that I don't like. Something about it that makes me feel like I don't really want to put my name to it. Like it's a drop from my usual quality. It doesn't have a very bold shape, it's not particularly Danish, and it doesn't fit the location that well. It doesn't blend with the location, it simply sits there and the location is taken as 'flat urban place', not 'middle of the park' or 'barren cliffside' as with Kongsholmparken Café and the Ishøj House, respectively. So I'm not very proud of it. But it's still a large investment of bother and time, so I'd still like it to win. Please?


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