It looks like my parents might have bought a new house.
For a long time they’ve been looking for a new house; somewhere newer, with fewer maintenance needs than the house they bought when my mother was pregnant with me. And the garden I grew up in.
Their old house is a 1940’s house with a large garden – twice the size of the new garden and sloping, whereas the new garden is flat; a piece of virgin land.
I love the fact that they’re leaving the old house while they still have the chance to make a new home for themselves in a place that is much more suited for their retirement. Less work, more time to just enjoy their home. And while the old garden is lovely and their neighbourhood is full of mature trees and lush gardens, their new home will have a stunning view over the Århus Bay and the ruins of the island fortress of Kalø Castle. (And it’s fairly close to my younger brother, his wife and their two kids, which is also a reason they chose to move so far outside town.)
And… I love the fact that they haven’t found some dull, down-scaled version of their present home, but something so very different and modern. I mean, just look at it; it’s unashamedly different and radical and special. And it’s a standard house. This house has been designed by one of the better architectural studios in the country (not perhaps the best; it’s not BIG, Schmidt Hammer and Lassen or Henning Larsen), 3xNielsen. It is a piece of architecture in its own right, but these houses are designed to be built on any plot of land and they have been, from one end of the country to the other. And they still manage to stand out, somehow.
I have no idea how my childhood home is going to be translated to fit into this sort of open floor plan, but I’m excited to see it. (And no, the walls aren’t sloping as the picture makes them seem; it is the cut of the window that gives them the crooked angles. And that’s my dad in the picture, looking somewhat out of place in the post-modern surroundings, but I am sure once the space is furnished with their things it will be softened and comfortable-looking.)
It will be exciting to see how they choose to do their garden. I can’t imagine that there won’t be a vegetable patch for my dad’s potatoes and my mother’s marigolds, and there are bound to be a few perennials and flowering shrubs as well. I can imagine the rooms, but not the garden. Still, I remember when both my sets of grandparents moved from their farms into small one-story houses; those houses retained exactly the qualities of the much larger homes my grandparents had in their farm houses, so I expect that my parents can transform this modern, sterile building into something warm and welcoming. Just like their present home.
So I guess my childhood home will remain, albeit in a different location.