The Fredensborg Houses (Fredensborghusene) form a housing complex in natural surroundings on the outskirts of the small town of Fredensborg in the north of Zealand, Denmark. The houses were designed by Jørn Utzon for Danes who have worked for long periods abroad.
The Fredensborg Houses followed Utzon's first major housing project, the Kingo Houses in nearby Helsingør. The 63 units were based on a competition project Utzon had developed for the south of Sweden in 1953, inspired by traditional Danish farmhouses set around a central courtyard and Chinese architecture. As a result of the success of the Kingo Houses, Dansk Samvirke, an organization catering to the well-being of Danish citizens who have worked for long periods abroad, invited Utzon to develop a housing estate where pensioners returning to Denmark could live together and share their experiences. Utzon helped to find a suitable site in Fredensborg, for which he developed plans allowing each house to have a view over a green slope.
Partly inspired by housing in Beijing's Forbidden City, the complex consists of 47 courtyard homes and 30 terraced houses as well as a central building with a restaurant, meeting rooms and nine guest rooms. The homes are all located around a square in groups of three, each with an entrance from the square. As the houses are on a slope, they all benefit from plenty of light, especially as they face either south-east or south-west. They give a general impression of openness, which is enhanced by their comparatively large courtyard gardens, even if the houses are protected from the eyes of curious outsiders. This all contributes to a feeling of security and peacefulness.
The complex was completed in 1963 to wide acclaim. As intended, the houses are occupied by Danes returning after a long career abroad, many having worked in the diplomatic corps. Although Fredensborg is just a small town, they seem to enjoy living in the area. They are able to enjoy the facilities of the central building which houses a library and a restaurant which offers good meals at reasonable prices. The walls are decorated with souvenirs and artwork the pensioners have brought back from as far away as Iran, South America or Sri Lanka.