Will, Works and Values – J.C. Jacobsen’s Villa at Carlsberg

J.C. Jacobsen and his wife, Laura Jacobsen, jointly created the Carlsberg brewery with the aid of a comprehensive network comprising their extended family as well as business associates, artists, scientists and politicians. Ever since its inception in the second half of the nineteenth century, the brewery has been a role model in many areas across the realms of business, science, art, culture and patronage.

The Jacobsen couple’s initiative, vision and stability have been an inspiration for many subsequent generations. At Valby Bakke, they established a powerhouse of activity where their life and work merged. Here, J.C. Jacobsen built his large and modern brewery, and here, in 1854, he built a magnificent villa with greenhouses and a garden based on his own designs. It was in this house that he, Laura and their son Carl lived and gathered their large network around them. After the couple’s death, the villa served as an honorary residence for a succession of prominent and important scientists during most of the twentieth century before becoming the seat of the Carlsberg Academy. Now, more than 150 years after the splendid villa was built, the Carlsberg Foundation has completed the most thorough restoration ever enacted on J.C. Jacobsen’s private home, greenhouses and garden. With the help of Denmark’s most talented architects and craftspeople, the villa has been daringly returned to its former glory, appearing once again as it did when the Jacobsens lived there, supplemented with new artistic contributions. This feat is celebrated with this lavishly illustrated book presenting the villa, its surroundings and its rich history.

In the book’s main chapter, historian Birgitte Possing presents an entirely new narrative about J.C. and Laura Jacobsen and the values on which they built Carlsberg together. Using hitherto overlooked sources, Possing shows that Carlsberg was built not by one man but by the joint efforts of a married couple working in tandem. Further chapters, written by experts within their respective fields, address the villa’s architecture, garden, artistic decoration and restoration, as well as the scientists, such as Niels Bohr, who lived in the house during its time as an honorary residence.

  • Will, Works and Values – J.C. Jacobsen's Villa at Carlsberg
  • By Birgitte Possing et al.
  • Published: January 26, 2022
  • Translation by René Lauritsen
  • Hardcover
  • Graphic design: Rasmus Koch Studio
  • Pages: 272
  • ISBN: 978-87-92894-22-9
  • Edition/impression: 1/1
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