The Danish Academy in Rome

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Scandinavian Modernism in the heart of Rome

Erected on the ruins of an abandoned dance pavilion on a hushed, tree-lined street near Villa Borghese, the Danish Academy in Rome emerged as a striking emblem of Scandinavian Modernism. The concept of the Academy was first established in 1956 in an effort to nurture cultural ties between Denmark and Italy.  

Architect, Kay Fisker (1893-1965) is widely remembered as one of the forefathers of the Functionalism movement in Danish architecture. In the 1960s, Fisker was tasked with designing the Danish Academy in his signature modernist style.

A cubic sculpture by Søren Georg Jensen (1917-1982) the son of famed silversmith Georg Jensen, catches the light from its position in the centre of the atrium.

The library is one of the points of interest within the Academy. Concealed lights illuminate the dark woodwork and stacked bookshelves, while a high ceiling adorned with PH lamps elongates the space.

Despite its grandiose design, the atmosphere is peaceful and contemplative, allowing scholars to turn their attention to their studies.

The Academy is fitted with warm teak, reflected in its floors, ceilings, doors and furniture. The luminosity of the wood has a softening effect on the overall atmosphere, endowing the institute with a sense of homeliness.  

Like everything at the Academy, the interior lighting has been carefully considered. Skylights and hidden light sources abound, diffusing the space with a subtle warmth. Under the lights, the dark tiled corridors seem to glow, reminiscent of wet cobblestones on a humid, rainy summer’s evening. 

TONI Copenhagen’s brass fixtures were selected for the Academy’s residence bathrooms, which feature the iconic Cross-handle, a favorite amongst architects.

Designed to only improve with wear, the gently-patinated taps are mounted in both the hand-wash basin and showers.

The property underwent a restoration project from 2014 to 2015 led by architect, Bente Lange. To guide the interventions, a series of distinct design principles were outlined.

Here, Lange declares that ‘beauty resides in the patina of quality materials.’ This edict is reinforced by the architects’ use of living materials such as brass, whose inherent qualities only improve with age.

Our SP faucets can also be found in the fellows’ kitchen, the social hub of the Academy. These taps were gently restored to their former glory as part of our Vintage Repair Shop program.

The TONI Vintage Repair Shop

Rooted in the belief that our most prized belongings should be restored, as opposed to discarded, this initiative takes a stand against throwaway culture. 

Design for Generations

Good, pragmatic design should outlast the temporal nature of trends and consumer cycles, and our solid brass taps were designed with this in the forefront. Using pure brass, we can ensure that our taps not only look better with use, but also last longer.

The taps from the Danish Academy were sent to our workshop in the heart of Frederiksberg, where our artisans breathed new life into them, extending their lifetime for years to come.


Images by Line Klein.

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Special thanks to Charlotte Bundgaard and the Danish Academy in Rome.