An architect’s oasis in the middle of the forest

In a forest area south of Randers in eastern Jutland, Denmark, we find Villa Brink, also known as The Nordic Barnhouse Project, a unique house that the renowned Danish architect and designer Bruno Jakobsen designed for himself and his family. The whole house is characterized by its direct proximity to nature – both in the choice of building materials and in the choice of furniture and fittings. The house’s extensive hardwood terrace features furniture from several of Skargaarden’s collections.

Bruno Jakobsen has been running his design studio for almost 20 years and today he specializes in residential architecture and wooden houses. Over the years he has designed countless buildings, interiors, kitchens, lighting solutions, and much more for homes, offices, and hotels.

As the name The Nordic Barnhouse Project suggests, Jakobsen’s creation for himself is an interpretation of a classic longhouse but built with exclusive Nordic materials. Situated on a nearly 10,000 square meter hilly, south-facing forest plot, the house has a panoramic view of the surrounding peaceful forest – which extends right up to the patio. The colors are earthy, with a black roof and facades made of dense vertical cedar planks, which over time will acquire a beautiful matt grey patina. All to ensure that the house blends in as much as possible with the surrounding nature.

The site includes the longhouse main building, which is over 6 meters high, 37 meters long, and 180 square meters in size, and a front building with a carport, workshop, and design studio. The buildings are connected by a beautiful orangery in the same architecture as the main buildings.

A 240 square meter terrace of the finest hardwood runs along the entire south side of the main house. When it was time to furnish the terrace, Bruno Jakobsen chose furniture from Skargaarden. The ample dining and lounge furniture consists of a spacious long table from the Oxnö collection, while the ten or so dining chairs are from the Djurö collection. Further along the terrace, under an elegant Skagerak parasol, are sofas and armchairs from Skargaarden’s acclaimed Saltholm collection. For even more relaxed moments, a couple of Skargaarden’s iconic H55 Lounge Chair can also be found on Jakobsen’s terrace.

”The terrace had to be clean and simple, but above all practical and comfortable. For me as an architect, it is important that the feeling and the heart are present throughout the project. There must be a common thread between interior and exterior. The experience must not disappoint, regardless of where you are in the architecture”, Bruno Jakobsen explains.

Skargaarden is known for its durable and quality craftsmanship – and for creating furniture that stands up to the most challenging weather and climate. For Bruno Jakobsen, who often describes his style as ’new Nordic‘, these were aspects that weighed heavily when choosing outdoor furniture.

”The first thing I noticed about Skargaarden was their approach to Nordic design. Skargaarden doesn’t look like everything else on the market. In my opinion, the quality of Skargaarden’s products is a level higher than the others on the market. The climate in the north is hard on materials and this places great demands on both manufacturing and material selection”, he says and continues:

”In my projects, I usually go for furniture in 100 percent wood. It gives me the authenticity I seek in my projects, so I have done the same in most places in our private project.”

He says the Skargaarden furniture has had a positive impact, both functionally and architecturally, on the outdoor feel and use of the terrace.

”For me, Skargaarden contributes to the peace and comfort I want when I enjoy my outdoor areas. We love the fact that there is room for many guests and that we can easily move around according to our needs, sun, wind and weather.”

However, choosing outdoor furniture is rarely the easiest choice, the range is vast with big differences in both price and quality, and it can also be difficult to know in advance how certain furniture will fit into your original vision. Bruno Jakobsen has some basic advice on what is important to consider when choosing outdoor furniture:

”My best advice would be to choose with your heart. Test the comfort and make sure you create a common thread in the interior of your terrace. Choose a setup and design that you actually think is beautiful to look at from inside the home. And if you don’t use the furniture, it’s often because it’s not in the right place, so choose furniture that’s more mobile and can fit in more places.”

Read more about Bruno Jakobsen and the Nordic Barnhouse Project at
And on the Instagram account @thenordicbarnhouseproject you can see pictures and film clips from the spectacular and unique building.