The House of Denmark
The House of Denmark is a semi-public organisation located on the Champs Elysées in Paris. The building was inaugurated in 1955 and has since then helped Denmark firmly establish itself on the international scene.
Granted independent status by the Danish state, the House of Denmark is run by a governing board appointed by the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The board is run by Michael B. Nellemann, CEO of The Obel Family Foundation. Also seated on the board are Ambassador Kirsten Malling Biering, Deputy Head of Board Director Søren B. Berg, Film Producer Marianne Slot, Gallery Owner Maria Lund and Associate Professor Kathrine R. Jørgensen.
Danish culture and companies on the international scene
The House of Denmark plays host to a large number of activities and events that help promote Danish culture and savoir-faire. Its undertakings are wide ranging but above all aim at demonstrating Denmark’s excellence in culture and industry. To achieve this, the House regularly brings in eminent guests of French and other nationalities. The House of Denmark is an exceptional asset and its unique location in the heart of the capital city provides like no other the opportunity to showcase the diverse talents and crafts of our country to the rest of the world.
Our various exhibitions, conferences, music festivals, film screenings, master classes and concerts take place on the second floor, where the public can discover our classical as well as contemporary artists. This is also where the embassy organises most of its promotional activities for Danish companies, along with trade shows, and business conference calls between France and Denmark and political speeches. The House of Denmark also plays an important role of representation, in particular when certain influential personalities pass through the French capital city. Furthermore, the House is a place where the Danish community of Paris spontaneously gathers, whether for the parliamentary elections in Denmark or the passing of the Tour de France down the Champs-Elysées.
In 2002, a second inauguration took place in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II, the Prince Consort and a large media gathering, following the extensive renovation works that improved the aesthetics and functionality of the building. A bay-window looking out over the Champs-Elysées replaced the old façade, lifts were installed, the electric wiring brought up to date, the court adorned with greenery and several floors were equipped with air-conditioning. The House of Denmark proudly celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2005.
A modern conference centre
The House of Denmark also offers lecture and professional seminar facilities to businesses and organisations of all nationality, providing impeccable quality of service in order to meet the demands of an international audience. Our seventh floor, recently refurbished and put into service in 2010, is particularly sought after for events seeking to highlight quality and professionalism in an elegant setting. The design of this new floor – with evident Nordic inspiration – was entrusted to the architecture firm Dorte Mandrup. The interior design is an unadulterated example of Scandinavian design with both classical and contemporary furniture pieces by Hans Wegner, Grete Jalk, Mogens Østergaard, Louise Campbell and Cecilie Manz. The carpets of the seventh floor come from the workshops of Kim Naver and were given to us by the Carlsberg Foundation. Beyond its exceptional aesthetic qualities, this space also benefits from cutting edge technical equipment as well as a leafy terrace from which one can enjoy a wide panorama of the ‘ville lumière’. Not to mention the House particularly central and accessible position in the heart of the French capital city.
Management and administration
Since its creation, the House of Denmark has been run by various Danish ministries, the most recent being the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1997, the legitimacy of the House of Denmark was politically contested and the House was expected to close on the basis that it represented superfluous spending for the state budget. The plan for closure caused a public outcry both in France and Denmark. Its management was therefore changed in order to ensure its longevity.
As a result , the House of Denmark became a semi-public institution, self-financed by the lease of some parts of the building to various businesses. For example, the ground floor and first floor house the Flora Danica and the restaurant Copenhague, where exquisite dishes are cooked in Scandinavian style. Some of the profits generated by the lease of the premises help fund other events organised by the House of Denmark. The central management of the institution is handled by a management committee nominated by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The executive management is handled by the director of the House of Denmark, and the cultural programming is set by the cultural department of the Danish embassy in Paris.
The history of the House of Denmark and its constant reinvention contribute to the House being both a modern institution as well as a place of tradition. Spurred on by a true mission, its ambition is to continue offering a space where Danish, French and foreign cultures can mingle and showcasing the excellence of the country to the rest of the world.