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A Viking’s Castle

王烨昇 Johnny Wang 2016-03-17 11:02

‘Versatile’ is arguably the best word to describe designer Jim Lyngvild. The blonde provocateur has written 23 books, designs jewellery and costumes, and has an interest in the beauty industry. He is also the co-owner of the award-winning “Frejdahl” beer company. Whoever thinks that Vikings cannot also be tender needs to simply have a conversation with Lyngvild in order to change their mind, he says: “My best talent is that I can feel people’s feelings.” In addition to his self-proclaimed extraordinary empathy, the Danish designer is also a man of imagination, like his explorer Viking ancestors, he is unafraid to wander into unchartered waters: “I never just draw out a plan and follow it step by step... that sort of working process blocks inspiration. I don’t like following plans. Whenever I get a new idea, I step into another world.”


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Appropriately for a man who hails from the same country as the famed fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen, Lyngvild confesses to being easily moved by the magic of fairy tales. “I love fairy tales,” he smiles, “and I do my designing through fairy tales. As a child, when people asked for my name I always told them ‘Cinderella’. In my mind, Cinderella is beautiful and sacred there were parallels between her story and my own childhood during which my mother had to take care of my four siblings and me. However, though we didn’t have much money, my mother gave us all her love. So I’m rich in my heart. She always encouraged us to do whatever we wanted to do, and to be ourselves.”

Now this Danish designer is living out a fairy tale, but rather than waiting for a savior to take him away to their castle, he has instead built his own. Lyngvild’s family can be traced all the way back to the early Vikings; one of his ancestors was a warrior serving under Canute the Great. Even now the lineage shows through his towering 1.92 metre frame. So with this in mind, it’s only tting that Lyngvild designed his dream home like a modern-day Viking long house, resplendent with Nordic elements.


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‘Ravnsborg’ means ‘castle of the raven’ and is what Lyngvild calls his abode on the island of Funen in Denmark, also known as the country’s ‘garden island’ for its gently rolling hills, orchards, and thatched farmhouses. “The Vikings adored the raven because it represented wisdom,” he explains. The inspiration for building his longhouse came from a wooden church which Lyngvild saw during a trip to Norway. “When I rst saw it, I realised it was similar to an ancient Viking church,” he says, “after coming back to Denmark, I started to draw the draft. At the beginning I wanted to find another designer to help me nish my dream home, but it is hard to nd a partner who thinks the way I do. Maybe because of my sensitivity, I can come up with new ideas every day. Finally, I decided that I had to do it all myself.”

This building is mainly of a wooden structure. According to Lyngvild, this is “an old constructing craft of the Vikings. It means that the joints of wood are not linked by metal parts, but linked by wooden parts.”


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With the longhouse at nine metres high, the interior is a space worthy of Valhalla with large open-plan areas, impressive ceilings, and a gorgeous view of the sur- rounding nature. Meanwhile, a large number of materials used in decorating Lyngvild’s home have natural scents, such as wood and leather and despite its enormous size, it manages to come across as warm and cozy. Scattered around the house are hunting trophies and assorted pelts and taxidermy that harken back to rugged days of old.

Doing everything by himself gave Lyngvild particular connection to his longhouse. “This home built by myself enriched my heart. The experience encouraged me and reminded me that I’m the progeny of Vikings. I have inherited my ancestors’ courage and wisdom.” he says.


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This gifted and productive designer is in possession of countless creative ideas which come from his outstanding God-given talent. He hopes someday people can fully step into his world by visiting his Viking castle on the island of Funen where his idol Hans Christian Anderson was born.


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