The Influence

Danielle Siggerud

The visionary Danish architect and furniture designer talks about love, belonging and imagining spaces with real presence

Danielle's Interiors

@daniellesiggerud // Instagram

Six items in your forever wardrobe?

My Chanel vintage jacket from the 90’s, a black cashmere sweater, black tailored trousers from Toteme, oversize black blazer from Mark Tan, slingbacks from Chanel and a white slip-in silk dress from Refine.

Trends you are adopting or dropping this year?

I am very persistent and consistent with subtle variations in my work. I don’t think in terms of trends and fashion, and I never have.

Your constant design influences?

Luis Barragan, Jorn Utzon, John Pawson, Gunnar Asplund, Axel Einar Hjorth and Charlotte Perriand. In fashion, I would highlight Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. All are figures who managed to make a timeless impression. 

What drives your aesthetic?

When I draw a space, I take care to shed all that is unnecessary, to strip the room down to its essence: refining by removing. The lighting, doors, fixtures, and storage become part of the structure, blending in. Everything one touches and senses, on the other hand, gets a lot of attention, adding warmth, a sense of personality and presence. 

At The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, I learned about cultural heritage and restoration and developed a passionate desire and drive to design buildings which, in time, grow naturally into being a part of the form and history of a place. To me, the presence of certain buildings seems simply to be there. We do not pay any special attention to them. And yet, it is virtually impossible to imagine the place where they stand without them. 

In my office, we are working on several restoration projects. It is essential to the quality of the intervention that the new addition or restoration should embrace qualities which can enter into a meaningful dialogue with the existing structure. For if the intervention is to find a place, it will make us see what already exists in a new light. 

Architecture by Richard England

@daniellesiggerud // Instagram

Light and Shadows

@daniellesiggerud // Instagram

"When I draw a space, I take care to shed all that is unnecessary, to strip the room down to its essence: refining by removing."

Danielle Siggerud

What's your approach to furniture design?

I wanted to create a sculptural object that extracts and experiments with two archaic forms from architectural history. Scaling these down to more approachable proportions allows us to experience the corporeal qualities up close in an uninhibited way.  

The Drop Stool is a mélange of two geometric figures: a circle encased in a square that is partly erased. While the circle carries spiritual meaning - infinite, with no end - the square is often a symbol of the material. Physical properties come in fours: four directions, four seasons and the four elements of earth, air, fire and water, according to the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles. 

Paint colours for now?

For me, it’s a bone hue.

Danielle Siggerud Drop Stool

@daniellesiggerud // Instagram


Luigi Vaghi Dining Chair

@daniellesiggerud // Instagram

The design values that promote ‘good’ living?

When I work with a room I try to acknowledge and respect what is already there, adding fervour by way of form. To give as well as care for the person who will use it, with their daily needs and flow considered. We try to get as up-close to their rituals as possible. For some, their morning routine is sacred, the making of coffee and watching the city go by from the windowsill. It is our job to really get to know the people who will live in these spaces and to create an architectural and spatial fabric around personal rituals.

How do you fuse the ancient and modern?

Our studio often handles historical sites, building upon the craft and heritage of preceding generations of artists, architects and designers. It is a responsibility handled with creative rigour and grace. One needs to respect the past and the energy poured into age-old details, while recognising that the needs of the inhabitant might have changed drastically and therefore require radical intervention. When we first visit a new site, we ask ourselves what to restore, repair, reconstruct, remove or add? These are the five pillars of our practice.

"One needs to respect the past and the energy poured into age-old details."

Curvilinear Banister

@daniellesiggerud // Instagram

Arje Griegst Spiral Wave Ring and Sophie Bille Brahe Peggy Pearl Necklace

@daniellesiggerud // Instagram

What luxury means to you.

Luxury is a state of great comfort. Over the years, I’ve learned to maintain a balance in my life; between working hard and accomplishing my goals, while remembering to take care of myself. I spend time with my family and friends, I exercise and eat well. A contentment with my circumstances, a balance across the important areas of my life, and the time and resources to pursue what I am passionate about. To me, this is true luxury.

Most cherished piece of jewellery?

My ear studs with three diamonds in each mean a lot to me. I clearly remember my mother wearing them when I was a young girl and she passed them on to me when I turned 18. The trinity of diamonds symbolises me and my sisters. I rarely take them off, and wore them for my wedding day, when I said farewell to my grandmother and when I gave birth to both our daughters. My mother has played an essential role in my own passion for jewellery. 

Aside from the studs, my Orit Elhanati choker, as well as the Arje Griegst Spiral Wave ring that my husband gave to me when I gave birth  to our firstborn daughter.

Favourite piece of furniture in the house?

All of my furniture is carefully selected and has a valuable meaning to me, but the Mattina Desk, originally designed as a wedding gift to my husband, is a piece we both use on a daily basis.  

The desk consists of two separate table-tops supported by three trunk-like legs, symbolising how two parts can be individual, but without being able to stand alone. A reminder of our love on an ordinary weekday. 

Where you turn for a reset?

We have a summerhouse in Liseleje, a small coastal town not far from Copenhagen, where I’ve spent all my summers since I was a little girl like my parents and grandparents did before me. The inky black cabin had aged beyond repair, so three years ago I was given the task of rebuilding and scaling it up to accommodate three generations and our growing family. We immediately relax and recharge when we’re here with so many memories linked to it and a sense of belonging. 

Danielle Siggerud Mattina Desk in Mahogany

@daniellesiggerud // Instagram


Danielle shot by Andres Schonnemann

@daniellesiggerud // Instagram

Your mantra when commencing a project.

As an architect, staying true to the building I’m working on is my greatest responsibility: to respect and work with, not against. Always have in mind that the work is in the service of its community: you have to remain humble. 

A book you would pass on.

“In Praise of Shadows” by Junichiro Tanizaki or “The Poetics of Space” by Gaston Bachelard.

What's next.

I established the office six years ago and today, the DSA office is a small group of talented people, taking on projects of very different scales and in a variety of different locations. Yet, we continue to make it a point to honour and maintain a personal hands-on approach to everything from restoration, renovation and transformation of old buildings and listed properties, as well as modern architecture, extensions and commercial projects, in Denmark and abroad.  

Until now, the focus has been primarily on residential projects. I’d love to expand our portfolio with hospitality and hotel design, creating homes away from home. 


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