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.
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 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.
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 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.