Perched on the very top of one of Copenhagen’s old fortifications, Lars and Camilla Wiberg’s home comes with a unique history. Built in 1933, the villa is accessed via numerous steps and crowns the remains of the old Christiansholm Battery – known locally as The Banana Fort because is was once used for storing and ripening the fruit – which is a national heritage site. Part of it belongs to the house itself, and the couple have carefully incorporated this into the stylish, modern home they have created since purchasing the property two years ago.
Following an extensive renovation, the house now has a definitive inside-outside style which has been achieved by replacing standard doors and windows with glass components that allow a seamless link between both. ‘It was important for us to create the atmosphere of a Mediterranean home, where the transition between indoors and outdoors melts together,’ explains Lars. ‘Nevertheless, we did so with respect for the villa’s original features, and its surroundings.’
The renovation, which included moving walls and the creation of new rooms, along with the installation of a smart new kitchen and bathroom, is now a spacious, light-filled and very private home for the couple and their two young children, with much of the family’s time spent on the expansive terrace, which has been built between granite boulders on the ramparts where canons once stood. ‘The house is so high up, it’s almost like floating among the tree tops,’ says Lars of the view that takes in a lush landscape of indigenous trees and plants, including lofty pines and feathery ferns.
When it came to decorating, the couple were keen to introduce their favoured Mediterranean style, combined with both modern and eclectic elements, much of which has been accumulated over the years. ‘Our tastes have changed with time,’ Lars admits. ‘We used to prefer a much more ethnic and colourful look, but this has evolved, and we now enjoy a more contemporary style.’
Nevertheless, this modern edge has been artfully combined with inspiration from Fifties’ and Sixties’ Palm Springs, Eastern furnishings and artefacts, and vintage finds. The result is decor that is as unusual and fascinating as the villa itself, with a warmth and ambience that is undoubtedly a far cry from the forbidding nature of the original fort.