Den rette stemning: stoflige virkninger i Landsforeningen Bedre Byggeskiks arkitektur

Pernille Henriette Wiil

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis


This thesis addresses the Danish architectural association Bedre Byggeskik 1915-1965) (an approximate translation could be ‘Better Building Practise’), whose activities were primarily focused on the rural areas in Denmark. The legacy of the association is charac-terised by an idea of skilful craftsmanship in good and ‘honest’ building materials, as well as a profound consideration of the sensuous material and textural effects in architecture (in Danish called stoflighed). The thesis wishes to concretise these effects and therefore ex-plores them as they appear in Bedre Byggeskik’s architectural teachings and designs. This is done partly by analysing the writings of the association and partly by analysing the sen-suous effects of materials, textures and surfaces as they appear in three selected exemplary houses. The three houses are all located in West Zealand, Denmark and designed by architect Marius Pedersen – his
own house from 1929 (now interior museum of Bedre Byggeskik) located in Holbæk and two houses on smallholdings set up in Odsherred in 1937.

In a scientific context the sensuous effects of the architectural surface and materiality are difficult to grip and communicate or even to convey. Therefore the thesis investigates ways of getting the houses – with their materiality,
texture and surface qualities – to stand as informants in their own right. The sensuous effects of the building materials and architectural elements are addressed and represented through linguistic ‘condensations of atmosphere’,
that calls for bodily and affective readings in an (otherwise) academic framing. The investigation exemplifies how modern building materials and architectural elements have taken place in the houses of Bedre Byggeskik, as a result of the changed way of life of the rural population. With the perspective given by the theory of atmosphere, the thesis argues that the materials, surfaces and textures of architecture has formative properties, as their atmospheric qualities – their ‘ecstasy’ – influence our moods and hence the attitude towards ourselves and our surroundings. In continuation hereof the thesis shows how Bedre Byggeskik’s educational effort aimed at creating surroundings, where certain dispositions could thrive among the rural population. Thus the thesis displays Bedre Byggeskik as a forum for exchange between a rural mentality and an upcoming welfare state mentality, as well as between a vernacular architecture and an academic architecture.
Original languageDanish
Place of PublicationRoskilde
PublisherRoskilde Universitet
Number of pages280
ISBN (Print)978-87-7349-931-3
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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