The Fondation Danoise saw the light of day thanks to the joint efforts of Benny Dessau, the director of Brasseries Tuborg and Helge Wamberg, cultural advisor to the Danish embassy in Paris. They organised a large fundraiser from the Danes in order to collect the sum necessary for construction. The Danish State put in the equivalent sum. In their honour, two bas-reliefs with their faces adorn the entrance hall walls. It was inaugurated in 1932.
The house holds the status of a foundation and is recognised as a public utility of which the board of directors is chaired by the Denmark ambassador in France.
The Fondation danoise is distinguished by its mauve brick cladding, its classic composition, its double-pitched roof and its dormers in reference to traditional Scandinavian construction. However, the simplicity of the façade displays the modernist influence. It was designed by Kaj Gottob, professor and inspector of royal buildings, renowned for his designs such as St Luke’s church in Århus, Knipples bridge in Copenhagen, Skolen ved Sundet school and a series of buildings at the university of Copenhagen. It he equally known for his furniture and silverware designs.
The building expresses both the classicism by which Gottlob was inspired in his youth as well as the Nordic functionalism of the interwar period, but in a sober and simple way.
On the inside, artists’ creations adorn the lounge such as the large canvases depicting the four seasons by Kresten Ivesen, each of which is accompanied by a verse from the poet Piet Hein, a glazed ceramic sculpture by Jean-René Gaugin, the son of the painter Paul Gauguin and Mette Sofie Gad and the bust of the literary critic Georg Brandes and the porcelain vases from the royal Copenhagen factory and designed by Kaj Gottlob.
The hall is decorated with plaster reliefs by the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen depicting subjects inspired by antiquity. The furniture is by Hans Wegner, a cabinet maker, architect and designer who is considered to be one of the founders of Scandinavian design. At the centre of the lounge is the building’s historic grand piano. Beautifully made, it was designed by Hornung & Møller based on the original design by Kaj Gottlob and gifted to the house. It was completely renovated in 2018.
The house was completely restored between 1983 and 1989. In 2008 private sanitary facilities were installed in half of the rooms. The house has 48 rooms.