A Room Made of Porcelain and Filled with Silver: Koldinghus

When I was living in Rome and Steven was searching for the apartment we would live in together here, in Providence, I had three requests: dishwasher, nothing ground floor and no landlord restrictions on painting the walls -- I simply can not live with white walls. They are fine in galleries (though aren't the colored walls in the Met or the Frick a revelation?), Tadao Ando interiors and dressing rooms, but otherwise, why is white the standard? It makes life so dull. The Apple Store interiors are so over (though I think what they're really going for, rather than white, is transparency).

However, I concede that this room is exquisite:

Stanley Kubrick, anyone? It's like heaven by way of Jansen. Loving this room is like saying you enjoyed the public rest room in the British Museum -- the main attraction of Koldinghus is that it is an 11th century Danish royal castle, largely ruined and reworked beautifully in the 80s by Inger og Johannes Exner (post forthcoming). This neoclassical room is admittedly frivolous, a strange and inappropriate thing to find in a Medieval castle, but I couldn't stop myself from loving it.

And now facing the other direction:

It's balance is almost unnerving. But like so many things I love, on closer inspection it has a certain lovely clumsiness that endears it to me even more:

What is going on with that banister? In a country of shipwrights you couldn't find someone who could manage a banister with an evenly curved transition? And the spindles look spindley, don't they? So slight and inarticulate.

How pretty this awkward little table with a porcelain tray top? The blue dentals look pasted on; it is precious and looks like it was made from a few cigar boxes one afternoon:

And the columns, carved from single logs, are going the way of all dried wood -- splitting and showing the most magnificent flaws. I truly love this space.

And we haven't even talked about the floors, which everyone both sides of the Atlantic seems to be after, or the collection of silverwork it holds or the incredible use of natural light. To stand in this space feels like being encased in bisque.

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