For Aesthetes and Surfers: A New Vipp Guest House in Denmark’s “Cold Hawaii”

The latest Vipp guest house sits on its own in a coastal stretch of Denmark known as Cold Hawaii. Vipp is the family-owned Danish design company that gots its start in 1939 with the invention of a pedal-operated steel trashcan. Its design offerings have grown to include modular metal kitchen systems, bathroom vanities, furniture, lighting, even soap dispensers, all with the same industrial-modernist DNA as the original bin. And, of late, the brand has started opening lodgings in enchanted corners of the world.

Their approach is to enlist local design teams to build or remodel existing quarters as vacation rentals that double as Vipp showcases. It’s an approach that has worked extremely well: see, for instance, Vipp’s Tiny Cabins on a Fjord in Norway, The Vipp Mountain Hideaway in Andorra,  and The Vipp Pop-Up Palazzo.

The Cold Hawaii house is an updated 1900 fisherman’s cottage on the North Sea; its 2.4 acres are part of Thy National Park, the largest national park in Denmark—and the only area of the country known for great surfing hence the Hawaii comparison. Caroline Hahn and Ebbe Lavsen, a young architect couple who specialize in historic updates, gave the house a contemporary reinvention using a palette of natural materials. It’s newly open for booking and still has summer availability. Join us for a look.

Photography courtesy of Vipp.

no neighbors in sight. the house is surrounded by untamed grassland and ocean i 17
Above: No neighbors in sight. The house is surrounded by untamed grassland and ocean in northwestern Jutland. “We kept the original geometry and position with east and west facing gables for wind protection,” says Lavsen. “The west gable facing the sea was once a stable. Farmers and fishermen did not care for the view—the layout was to shield residents from the strong western winds”—which are what create the waves. Cold Hawaii gets some snow in winter but the surf scene is year-round: the swells are best from November to March.
the architects gave the structure a roof of douglas fir heartwood that can with 18
Above: The architects gave the structure a roof of Douglas fir heartwood that can withstand the wind and salt air. They used only five construction materials throughout: wood, stainless steel, glass, brick, and aerated concrete. The latter is highly insulating—the walls are aerated concrete mono blocks finished with a textured whitewash both outside and in.
Above: The centerpiece is Vipp’s new V3 Kitchen, the latest of its metal kitchen systems. Its freestanding modules are wrapped in reeded anodized aluminum and can be configured in various ways. The island module stands on a floor of repurposed brick laid in sand rather than mortar. The built-in fireplace has a mantel of bush-hammered stone—hammering gives it an orange-peel surface—and is two sided: it opens in the kitchen and adjoining dining area.

Copenhagen interior designer Julie Cloos Mølsgaard furnished the rooms with Vipp pieces—such as the Sculpture Table Lamp in white marble on the island—as well as work by local artists and area craft store and vintage finds.

“the landscape is the guiding star and is framed like a giant painting,& 20
Above: “The landscape is the guiding star and is framed like a giant painting,” says Cloos Mølsgaard. The island is composed of six units and fitted with drawers and cupboards; its extruded aluminum exterior has rounded edges.