History

Before the House of Denmark

According to historians, links between Denmark and the Champs-Elysées date back to the Vikings. They were said to have established their camp on the location of the colonnade of the Louvre, that is to say on the future route connecting the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe – via the current site of the House of Denmark.

Up until only four centuries ago, the area around the House of Denmark was considered one of the most insalubrious suburbs of Paris – the Marais des Gourdes. In 1670, Louis XIV asked architect Le Nôtre to design a road connecting the Jardins des Tuileries to the village of Neuilly, as part of a policy aimed at increasing prestige and private buildings. A century later, this road became the Champs-Elysées. Housed in the Marais up until this point, the aristocracy started to feel crowded and moved to large and comfortable residences in the western suburbs of Paris. Thus was born the prestigious district of the Champs Elysées.

During the 19th century, the site of the House of Denmark was occupied by the Jardin Beaujon, a theme park famous for its firework shows and hot-air balloon rides.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a four storey private mansion was built on the current site of the House of Denmark: the Hôtel Subiran consisted of a main house looking out onto the Champs-Elysées, a large interior court and two other buildings looking out onto rue Lord Byron.

The House of Denmark

1935
Birth of the project

The idea of creating a Danish house emerges on the occasion of the Brussels World’s Fair. Architect Tyge Hvass presents his Danish pavilions.

1948
Acquisition of the land

The Danish state acquires the land, along with the Hôtel Subiran, for a total amount of DKK 1,455,800.

1952
Beginning of the construction works

Demolition of the Hôtel Subiran at the behest of Danish Housing Minister Johannes Kjærbøl.

Construction of the current House of Denmark

Construction of the current House of Denmark by the Danish state in the aim of promoting Danish industry, agriculture and culture. The first brick is laid on 23 September 1952 by Danish Prime Minister Erik Eriksen, in the presence of Robert Schumann, French Foreign Secretary and Minister of the Tivoli

1955
Inauguration

23 April 1955: The inauguration of the House of Denmark takes place in the presence of King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid; Danish Prime Minister, M.H.C. Hansen; French President, René Coty; chairman Edgar Faure; future great fashion designer Erik Mortensen; and Danish sculptor Robert Jacobsen.  

1961
Management
Management

The governance of the House of Denmark is transferred from the Prime Minister to the Ministry of Culture.

1972
Renovation

Renovation of the cultural space of the second floor.

1986
Management

The governance of the House of Denmark is transferred from the Ministry of Culture to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

1995
40th anniversary

The 40th anniversary of the House of Denmark is celebrated with an exhibition of tapestry designs by Bjørn Nørgaard given to Her Majesty Margrethe II. The exhibition is inaugurated by the minister of Foreign Affairs in the presence of HRH Prince Joachim on 24 April 1995.

1997
End of the House of Denmark?

The plan to sell the House of Denmark causes a public outcry in France and Denmark and lead to a petition. The plan is abandoned.

1998
Renovation and new status

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs proposes a renovation plan and a change of status for the House of Denmark. It is decided that the House will be financially independent and run according to economic and trade principles. The House undertakes the cost of its own renovation without receiving support from

2002
Inauguration
Inauguration

Inauguration of the House of Denmark in the presence of Her Majesty Margrethe II and HRH the Prince Consort of Denmark, Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, and Education Minister Jack Lang, in February 2002.

2004
Nomination

In July 2004 the Presidency of the Board of the Danish House changed from Ambassador Peter Dyvig to Ambassador Hans Henrik Bruun.

2005
50e anniversary
50e anniversary

The House of Denmark celebrates its 50th anniversary on the Champs-Elysées with a plethora of events.

2010
Inauguration of the 7th floor
événement loft septième cosy lounge conférence

The top floor is fitted out with a reception room designed by Danish architect Dorte Mandrup.

2012
New Cultural Advisor
New Cultural Advisor

Marius Hansteen (right), new Cultural Advisor at the Embassy of Denmark and Director of the Danish Foundation

2015
60 years anniversary

The Danish House celebrates the 60 years anniversary

2016
Chairmanship

Michael Nellemann, CEO of The Obel Family Foundation, appointed new Chairman of the Board of Directors

2017
HRH Crown Princess Mary
HRH Crown Princess Mary

HRH Crown Princess Mary visiting the House of Denmark, exhibition Henrik Vibskov, June 6, 2017

2018
Nomination

The Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs has appointed a new governing board :  Head of board Director Michael Bjorn Nellemann, Deputy Head of Board, Former director Soren Berg, Ambassador Kirsten Malling Biering, Board members : Gallery Owner Maria Lund, Architect Line Nelund Dross, General Manager Jens Kofoed

2019
New Cultural Advisor
New Cultural Advisor

On October 8, 2018 Klaus Ib Jørgensen is appointed new Cultural Advisor at the Danish Embassy and Director of the Danish Foundation at the Cité Universitaire. Beginning of the mandate on January 1, 2019. (Photo J-M.Gardner : G.Delcourt, Klaus Ib Jørgensen, curator A. Krogh, Ambassador Starbæk Christensen, Nov. 5, 2019)

2020
Renovation
Renovation

The 2nd floor is closed for renovations.

2021
Le Bicolore
Le Bicolore

February 2, 2021. The House of Denmark opens its new showroom, named Le Bicolore, designed by the Danish architectural office, COBE. At the same time, new digital communication platforms and a new visual identity adapted to the Bicolore were created by the Danish agency, Urgent Agency. Photo: Florian Kleinefenn Photo:

2022
Nomination

July 2022. Mr. Lars Liebst, Senior Advisor, has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors.

2023
Nomination
Nomination

March 1, 2023 Catherine Lefebvre Hansen is appointed new Cultural Counsellor at the Danish Embassy and Director of the Danish Foundation at the Cité Universitaire. The mandate will begin on March 15, 2023. On the photo Nour Fog, artist and Catherine Lefebvre the curator of the show Bulle du Monde.

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