Hygge, the Danish Art of Coziness, Part 3

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PART 3: More Hygge through Architecture:

Architects like to use the phrase “Programming”: Taking a very close look at all your project must-haves, and nice-to-haves. Before we ever start designing we interview clients about all their wishes, concerns, functions, and “problems”. We test assumptions, and take new ideas for a test drive. In the first part of programming everything is on the table, and if we stopped there, you would usually end up with a project twice the size (and cost) you intended. So in the next step we look at spaces that can function in a variety of ways, and we go on a quest to discover your favorite things: An art piece, a special memorabilia, quote, color, or old piece of furniture, and make sure that it gets integrated into the design process that follows. So while it can be painful at first, really wrestling with these ideas, and getting back to the things that are essential to you, will give you a much better building. And you can re-invest the resources saved into what really matters most.

Hygge supporting architectural features:

We’re all about daylight, but there comes a time of the day to wind down. Consider “warm” lighting for those late afternoon and evening spaces. Careful about over-using full spectrum daylight bulbs, as they can spoil the mood and your circadian rhythm later in the day.

Celebrate views of Nature/ Outside. Bonus for those of us in Montana: The more stormy, windy, rainy, cold or snowy it is, the more Hygge it gets on the inside! Added bonus: views of nature have been shown to restore our capacity for focused attention, so they are great for school and work places too!

Nooks and small-ish places: These often get forgotten, especially in big projects. Don’t underestimate the power of those 16-60 SF nooks, whether it is an informal chat space or “phone booth” at work, or an entry area to your house that can actually deal with all the clutter that tends to accumulate there.

And of course, honoring our roots that love food and fire! Consider a kitchen that supports your style and tools of cooking and baking, ideally in a setting where you can do it with friends.
Stoves and Fireplaces: There is nothing quite like fire! If installing one inside a fairly efficient home, pick a fireplace with high EPA ratings for indoor air quality.

What is the most Hygge space you have experienced?

 

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Sophia Sparklin

Growing up in a family with generations in medical practice, Sophia discovered her passion for architecture during an internship 1996. Since then Sophia received formal and informal education in Germany and the US. At Arizona State University she was honored by the Henry Adams Certificate for graduating on top of her (Master of Architecture) class in 2005.