Hygge the most important element to consider when building a house

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Was the other day in the hall of my house, reading with my two kids out there wandering, one playing to the console and the other with the cars that gave him by Christmas. It was a Sunday and it was sunny, had the curtain thrown since my lounge leads to south and there is always a lot of light, the case is that just in front of the picture window of the lounge I have planted a few trees, banana trees, that are very lush and generate shadows very pleasant on the white curtains.

sombra-hojasb-415x415

When I say very nice I am referring to that were almost hypnotic, i got them for quite some time watching as the shadows of the leaves were moving by the curtain, totally focused. When “i returned to the reality”, when i unhook the images and my consciousness returned to my living room with my kids playing and my wife to my side reading, I was struck by a great sensation of well-being, relaxation, a cozy feeling that it was hard to define.

It is something which is sure that has happened with us all, I am not a being especially illuminated that has reached the nirvana, or much less, however I was finding it difficult to put a name to this feeling. Therefore I did what today we all do, pull out the mobile and search if someone, somewhere you had already defined.

Indeed there was a definition on this “feeling”, not in Spain, but if in the countries of northern Europe, especially in Denmark. The word they use and that does not have a literal translation into English is Hygge (or also the German word Gemütlichkeit).

Hygge is more than a word in Danish, is a style of life. It is something the best of each day for a Danish.

As a noun it is a comfortable, relaxed, safe, warm, welcoming and well-known environment. Smell of fresh bread, pancakes. A glass of wine with friends… The word includes a mood, a feeling, an activity. “Kom, lad os hygge os!” means “come, let’s enjoy ourselves“.

For the Danes is a psychological state. Very often the image of “Hygge” is symbolized by the dim light of the candles, good food, social relations pleasant, chocolates, gifts and a long etcetera. For us, I would add, the beer in the terrace at home with friends or the mere fact of staying in winter lying outside while gives us the sun (in summer the sun, at least to me, I do not provides Hygge but rather too hot)

This is a pleasant atmosphere but not exalted. This could be something as well as the utopia of each day.

For the Danes The Hygge are also candles and soft lights in houses and bars to make them more welcoming, accompany the coffee with pastries, taking care of the small details of comfort in the houses, caring for the garden and prepare it if you are going to celebrate a barbecue, table games in social gatherings, etc. So try to have a micro-perfect universe, cozy and warm around it.

In the field of my work and the subject of this blog, I was very struck this concept of Hygge, although it is an element, which as an architect, I always looked in my projects, although without have put her name, is something that virtually no customer has asked me. Always speak of having more or fewer rooms, more or less square meters or have or no swimming pool, but not from having a more hospitable place.

It seems to me that a concept that is very beautiful and that since then as an architect I always it is essential to find that each project has its Hygge, which is welcoming to the people who are going to use.

This concept is something you should think about for your project, to build a house, a restaurant, even for an office. A few weeks ago I wrote a post about new types of offices, what I did not put in that post was that it has been shown that a 1% improvement in the quality of the environment in the workplace improves the productivity of workers in an equivalent way to what would be raised by an au 30% of the land to workers. Imagine what you can achieve with a good design,how it would improve your quality of life whether at home or in your workplace.

This concept does not imply that you have to be great things to be able to get it, there will be people who can get it in an apartment of 23m2, as in the apartment you see in the picture, to me personally, for a part of my life I would have loved to live in such a place, and yet other people will need a large house with a huge garden full of trees.

So what’s your hygge? What is the time and place where you find your everyday utopia? And if you don’t have it, what would you like it to be?

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