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Carlsberg Academy

In the late summer of 2019, the Carlsberg Foundation initiated a comprehensive restoration of the Carlsberg Academy with the aim of reinstating the villa’s former beauty, adhering as closely as possible to the original intentions and aesthetic modes of expression from the time when the brewer J.C. Jacobsen had the villa erected as a home for himself, his wife Laura and son Carl.

Elgaard Architecture has been the lead consultant on the extensive restoration and recovery of the buildings’ interiors, including a comprehensive, but discreet, logistic, technical and climatic upgrade of the entire complex, thereby making it a functional setting for conferences and symposia.



Architectural restoration

The Carlsberg Foundation

Sweco Danmark, Arkitekt Kristine Jensens Tegnestue, Marianne Tuxen Design, Spaabæk Konservering, Seir-Materialeanalyse, Dansk Miljø Analyse, Martin Funch Rådgivende Ingeniørfirma ApS

A complex building complex
The villa consists of a complex of three very different buildings: the Palladian inspired main house, the Winter Garden and the conservatory named Pompeii as well as a terrace and a magnificent garden.
The building complex cannot be attributed to a specific architect. Rather, it should be understood as J.C. Jacobsen’s (1811-1887) own very personal vision for his home and his wish to express the state-of-the-arts architectural and technical capacities of his time. He formulated and sketched his own stylistic interpretations and technical ideas for the place and hired the contemporary Danish architect N.S. Nebelong (1806-1871) to make his visions come true. The main house and Winter Garden were erected in 1853-1854 and the conservatory Pompeii in 1876-1878.

The overall restoration strategy has been to reconstruct as much of the interior as possible and bring back the interiors to their original splendour. At the same time, it has been key to understand the individual buildings on their own terms, both stylistically and technically, and hence formulate an individual restoration strategy for each building.

The Garden Room: The decoration of the ceiling has been restored to its full splendour. The doors have been woodgrained (faux bois technique) to mimic the texture of oak wood in accordance with the original drawings and the colour archeology made by the conservators.
Pre-restoration photo: The white-painted doors and cornices did not adhere to the original decorations of the room and thus blurred the overall impression.
Due to previous restorations, the original decorations were hidden behind red plastic paint.
The original decorations were uncovered and gently restored. In addition, new curtains were made as copies of the original ones.
Detail showing a restored door and cornice
“The restoration project reinforces the story of brewer Jacobsen’s ambitions for the house and connects Carlsberg Academy’s contemporary functions more closely to the cultural history of the place. ”
Peder Elgaard
The dining room prior to the restoration

The Dining Room
For decades, the original wall decorations, columns as well as the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen’s impressive plaster reliefs and Alexander Frieze were all painted over with several layers of white plastic paint.

Based on colour archaeology, the room has now been reconstructed to its original colour scheme. The artistic quality of the original decorations is very high. Conservators have restored the original motifs on the lower walls, and after painstaking cleaning and repairs, the sharp contours and fine details of the Alexander Frieze has reappeared. In addition, the reconstruction of the original darker base colour behind the figures has reestablished the original effects of depth and alternations between light and shadow. The columns have been marbled, and all the walls have been painted in colours with traditional pigments.

Restoration of the dining room and reconstruction of original decorations
Uncovering of the lower wall decorations prior to restoration
The columns were covered with plastic paint. They have now been marbled as they were originally.
photography: Anders Sune Berg

The Winter Garden

The restoration of Carlsberg Academy has aimed to recreate and bring the villa back to its original conditions. There are several different restoration approaches to the different buildings and even different parts of each space.

The Winter Garden has been restored by a thorough renovation of all surfaces and structures as well as new décor, floor and bar. The indoor climate has been upgraded to meet modern standards, continuing the approach towards modern technology, stemming from the time of the brewer, J. C. Jacobsen. With the new technology, it is possible to reach a stable indoor climate, for plants, humans and events.

Pompeii’s roof has been restored through a combination of techniques, rebuilding it to its original form. The Winter Gardens roof now is cladded with an energy saving glass that has a sun screen film, that prevents the sun to overheat the space.


The steel beams have been restored.
The new natural stone floors. Heating and indoor climate technology are hidden under the floors and are easy to access.
View from the Winter Garden into the Pompeii Hall
The Pompeii Hall with its restored glass roof
On site reconstruction of the lost acanthus cornice in the Pompeii Hall
Details in the Pompeii Hall
The process of mounting and joining of each individual piece of curved glass

The Pompeii Hall
We have restored the great Crystal Palace-inspired glass roof of the Pompeii Hall.
Each individual piece of glass has a specific curve and has been mounted and jointed by hand.
The acantus cornice under the roof had disappeared, but has been reconstructed on the basis of the original drawing which we found during our research.
The original heating channels under the floors are used for new and discreet indoor climate technology and heating.
The Pompeii Hall is adorned with Doric columns made of limestone from Faxe in Denmark. The building is richly decorated with artworks by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen and others.
Elgaard Architecture will conduct the restoration of walls, artworks and floors in a separate project.

The brewer J.C. Jacobsen painted by August Jerndorff (1886)