A building in Rønne that is probably known by most Bornholmers is Hafnia Hus, on the corner of St. Torvegade, Byledsgade and Sandgade. The main house, Skibet, is located in St. Torvegade, in Sandgade there are 6 more blocks built together, shaped like a 7, between these buildings there is a common garden for all the apartments. But probably not everyone has thought about the appearance of the building, maybe only that it has some special windows compared to other buildings.
Hafnia Hus is not an old building worthy of preservation with carvings and cornices, so that is not why it is mentioned, it does because of the special maritime design the building has. For those who don’t know Hafnia House or maybe haven’t thought about what the building represents, they should stop and take a look at the building and its special design.
The building dates from 1934 and was designed by architect Ib Lunding for the Hafnia insurance company. The large arched windows on the building depict bow waves from the ship’s prow. The 3 horizontal window sections should represent the bridge. On the long side of the building, balconies with railings have been extended; these are intended to give the impression of passenger decks. The round windows represent bunkhouses.
Hafnia House is the first residential complex in Rønne, built in yellow stone and with a red gabled roof. The residential complex is built on 3 floors and contains 70 apartments with a living area from 29 to 148 m2. the parties are however on 50 – 60 m2. On the ground floor there are 3 business premises. The property also includes 8 garages.
The furnishings in the apartments were extremely modern and on a par with those found in Copenhagen at the time. The whole building had central heating. The apartments had toilets and baths, most with built-in tubs and porcelain tiles on all the walls. The kitchen had rounded corners and edges and was made of teak, there was a pantry and a goods box with an automatic lock where the courier could put in goods from outside. The apartments were also equipped with built-in wardrobes.
The penthouses were the most sought-after, as they were designed as studio apartments with large windows, good light and good furniture possibilities. Most studio apartments have views to three sides.
When the housing complex was completed and ready for occupancy, there was great interest in living in these modern apartments, but the price was too high for the “little” Bornholmers could afford to live in the apartments, therefore it was mainly people with higher incomes who moved into the building.
Hafnia House was built as a rental property. But in January 2002 the then owner – Codan – decided to sell the building to a majority of the tenants, who on 1 February 2002 founded the Hafnia Hus cooperative housing association.