KØBENHAVN. Urban Architecture and Public Spaces

Page 1

København Urban Architecture and Public Spaces


Contents Prologue Arne Jacobsen’s Heirs: New Horizons in Architecture Sandra Hofmeister


Public Spaces 1 Superkilen Topotek 1, BIG, Superflex ○ 2 Israels Plads Cobe, Sweco Architects ○

Interview Dan Stubbergaard/Cobe Architecture and Social Interaction 3 Red Cross Volunteer House Cobe 4 Nørreport Station Cobe, Gottlieb Paludan Architects 5 Cityringen Arup 6 Musiktorvet Effekt Arkitekter Essay Cycling Culture and Quality of Life Sandra Hofmeister

○ ○ ○ ○

024 036 046 054 060 068 076 082

Sports and Leisure Essay

7 Amager Bakke BIG ○ 8 Kalvebod Bølge Urban Agency, JDS Architects ○

From Tivoli to the Harbour Bath Sandra Hofmeister 9 Park ’n’ Play JAJA Architects 10 Aktivitetshus Rambøll 11 Noma 2.0 BIG

○ ○ ○ 004

098 106 114 120 128 134

Culture and Education 12 BLOX OMA ○ 13 Copenhagen International School C.F. Møller Architects ○

Back to the Water: The Revival of the Port Jakob Schoof 14 Den Blå Planet – National Aquarium Denmark 3XN 15 Ørestad Gymnasium 3XN Interview Kim Herforth Nielsen/3XN Architecture as an Experiment 16 Experimentarium Extension Cebra 17 Børnekulturhus Ama’r Dorte Mandrup, Nøhr & Sigsgaard 18 Skolen i Sydhavnen JJW Architects 19 Ku.Be MVRDV, Adept 20 Extension of Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium BIG Essay

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

148 158 168 180 188 194 202 210 216 222 228

Housing 21 The Silo Cobe ○ 22 Krøyers Plads Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects, Cobe ○ 23 Sundbyøster Hall II Dorte Mandrup ○ 24 Lange Eng Cohousing Dorte Mandrup ○

Interview Dorte Mandrup Housing Concepts: Traditional and Trendsetting 25 8 Tallet BIG 26 Dortheavej Residence BIG 27 Nordbro Arkitema 28 Tietgenkollegiet Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter

○ ○ ○ ○

242 250 258 267 274 280 288 294 300

Appendix Architects Imprint, picture credits

KØBENHAVN. Urban Architecture and Public Spaces

310 312


20 ● 16 ●

13 ● 9 ● 21 ●

10 ●

26 ● 27 ● ●1

3 ●

5 ●

19 ●

7 ● 11 ●

2 ● 4 ●

22 ● 5 ●

12 ● 8 ●

28 ●

24 ● ▼

6 ● 17 ● 23 ●

18 ●

14 ●

15 25 ▼ ● ●


1 Superkilen Topotek 1, BIG, Superflex ○ 15 Ørestad Gymnasium 3XN ○ 2 Israels Plads Cobe, Sweco Architects ○ 16 Experimentarium Extension Cebra ○ 3 Red Cross Volunteer House Cobe 17 Børnekulturhus Ama’r Dorte Mandrup, ○ ○ Nøhr & Sigsgaard Nørreport Station Cobe, Gottlieb 4 ○ Paludan Architects 18 Skolen i Sydhavnen JJW Architects ○ 5 Cityringen Arup 19 Ku.Be MVRDV, Adept ○ ○ 6 Musiktorvet Effekt Arkitekter 20 Extension of Gammel Hellerup ○ ○ Amager Bakke BIG Gymnasium BIG 7 ○ 8 Kalvebod Bølge Urban Agency, 21 The Silo Cobe ○ ○ JDS Architects 22 Krøyers Plads Vilhelm Lauritzen ○ Architects, Cobe 9 Park ’n’ Play ○ JAJA Architects 23 Sundbyøster Hall II Dorte Mandrup ○ 10 Aktivitetshus Rambøll 24 Lange Eng Cohousing Dorte Mandrup ○ ○ 11 Noma 2.0 BIG 25 8 Tallet BIG ○ ○ 12 BLOX OMA 26 Dortheavej Residence BIG ○ ○ Copenhagen International School 13 27 Nordbro Arkitema ○ ○ C.F. Møller Architects 28 Tietgenkollegiet Lundgaard & ○ Tranberg Arkitekter 14 Den Blå Planet – National Aquarium ○ Denmark 3XN

Dan Stubbergaard of Cobe in conversation with Sandra Hofmeister

Architecture and Social Interaction

KØBENHAVN. Urban Architecture and Public Spaces


Dan Stubbergaard founded Cobe in 2006; today his studio operates as a think tank with 150 employees from around the world. Cobe’s expertise spans well-considered masterplans and public space interventions to spectacular conversions and new buildings. Many of Cobe’s projects are just a stone’s throw away from its office in a converted warehouse in Nordhavn, the site of the largest urban development project in northern Europe. For Dan Stubbergaard, architecture’s relationship to the public and the communal qualities of public space are a central focus of equal importance in private and public projects alike.

You grew up and studied in Copenhagen. Do you have a favourite building in the Danish capital? Yes, it is Grundtvig’s Church by P. V. Jensen Klint. Built in the 1920s, it’s an example of early Danish modernism. As a child, I often went there with my grandfather to take flowers to the grave of my great-grandparents. I remember how astonishing it was to experience the building – it was a place where I learned to understand the power of architecture. I still visit this church from time to time. You can feel the gravity of all those yellow brick walls. It’s a wonderful place of quiet and an important architectural monument. 048 PUBLIC SPACES

A recent book on Cobe’s projects in Copenhagen is called Our Urban Living Room. What is the significance of its title? There are two ways to read it. First, cities are increasingly becoming a kind of common living room for everybody. In Copenhagen, we are overwhelmed by our own success in terms of this phenomenon, thanks to some great masterminds. The book and the exhibition of the same name point to how we are spending much more of our time in public spaces than in our private living rooms. All sorts of activities are being moved from the home out into the city, which offers a variety of settings in Copenhagen. Second, Our Urban Living Room also stands for a more

holistic view of the city. A living room is a very private place, but adding “our urban” shifts the concept entirely. The notion then refers to social spaces, creating spaces for everybody, and approaches the city as a whole. Private rooms in general, and living rooms in particular, are cosy places. They are the spaces in our home that we give a lot of love and attention to. We buy nice things to fill them and create nice corners where we can sit. Why can’t we do the same for our city? To give it love and to care about the public spaces?

“We put a lot of love and attention into our home. Why can’t we do the same for our city?”

Interview Dan Stubbergaard / Cobe

Do you see a significant shift in the balance between private and public spaces nowadays? Yes, I think there is, especially here in the Nordic region of Europe where we don’t have such nice weather as in southern Europe. When I was a child, for instance, social life mainly took place at home. Nowadays it’s entirely different. You see your friends at the local library, on a plaza in your neighbourhood, or at other public spaces – like our office. Here at Cobe, we opened a small public café because we wanted to create an open environment and a small living room for the neighbourhood and community of the Nordhavn area. You and your team have recently designed a lot of public spaces in Copenhagen. What is your approach to traffic? Infrastructure had a very important role in defining our cities from the 1950s to the 1980s. Public spaces and the zones between buildings became carscapes, and this affected everyday life. But today we know that we have to combine infrastructure with the public quality of urban space. Be it a bicycle parking lot, a metro station, or a streetscape, you need to insist that all infrastructure is also a social and public space. We have had this attitude from the very beginning. We work with the space between the buildings, and combine the hardcore pragmatic functions of infrastructure with the quality of public space, the human scale, and quality of life. I think this approach 049

is now a common way of developing new infrastructure in our city.

things, and involve the public in the design process. On the other hand – and that’s where all the energy as an Let’s have a look at Israels Plads. architect is hidden – you spend four After your intervention, it became or five years designing and building, a public gathering space for the fighting for ideas, and moderating community. Many young and old conflicts with clients or contractors. people are involved in different There is a long way to go from the activities there. As an architect, first idea to completion. Then the how do you enliven public spaces magic happens when people involve through planning? How can themselves in the space you have you ensure that people actually created. Israels Plads is the biggest embrace the space and make it public space in Copenhagen. But their own? it’s also a schoolyard shared by two You never know, to be quite frank. schools – we argued that it should On the one hand, we anticipate be an open space nevertheless. The


A visit to Cobe: The architects’ studio is located in a former warehouse building in the Nordhavn (North Harbour) district.

actual schoolyard is located on an elevated zone on the plaza, and all of the school kids know that they shouldn’t leave that area. We created a discrete boundary, and that’s how we persuaded the school to have a safe zone in the middle of the city and an open environment at the same time. It’s important to understand urban design as a platform for testing things and pushing our society and social behaviour beyond learned conventions. The challenge for us architects is to offer to new ways of living together and to foster a lively everyday life.

Copenhagen has reactivated its harbour sites. There are a lot of new waterfront zones and none of them is exclusively private or closed to the public. You have built a number of projects in these areas. Can you tell us a little bit about the mixture of private investors and public interests? The Copenhagen harbour is where you can get the best picture of the city’s transformation from a sleepy, poor industrial town in the 1980s to the growing, dynamic city it is today. There used to be a lot of industry located around the harMany of the public spaces bour, and so the city turned its back designed by Cobe have inclined to those areas. By cleaning the water zones and ramps. Their design in the harbour so people can swim creates a topography with small in it, and by treating the harbour hills in a flat city. zones as a “blue park” for the whole city rather than a bleak industrial There are some practical issues in site, the whole identity of the city this: you can inscribe functionality changed. Today, the harbour is both onto these topographies, like the a very protected and a very public bicycle hills at Karen Blixens Plads. place. The areas around it offer There we double programmed high-quality waterfront living, and bicycle parking and a landscape opportunities to swim or gather to with recreational value. In general, watch the sunset. This is where the we often use topography to create city opens up to offer wide views. an environment where people can It’s also now the most attractive interact in a spontaneous way – places where they can sit, skate, and area to live and the most expensive place to buy an apartment. The gather. Copenhagen has a lack of topography, which is why we need to city’s masterplans stipulate that all create it. Simply walking up a small harbourfront areas must not only be accessible to the public but also hill that is only 5 metres high is a huge experience here in Copenhagen! activated by the public. You cannot It would probably not make as much privatize the harbourfront, but you sense to create an artificial topogra- can combine public activities with phy in Norway, for example, where offices or private flats. you have mountains. Interview Dan Stubbergaard / Cobe


Engineer: Sweco Traffic planning: Rambøll Light design: Bartenbach LichtLabor Client: Banedanmark; DSB; City of Copenhagen Completion: 2015 Site area: 10,000 m² Number of users: Approx. 250,000 people per day Use: Infrastructure


Nørre Voldgade, Indre By #nørreportstation

Cobe, Gottlieb Paludan Architects

Floating Roofs and Bicycle Islands Nørreport Station

When it first opened in 1918, Nørreport station was already an important transport hub in Copenhagen. Pedestrians and bicyclists dominated the above-ground landscape at the time. But nearly 100 years later, the changing times had clearly left its mark on the station. Long-distance and regional trains as well as the suburban and inner-city metro meet here underground at various levels – as do pedestrians, cyclists, bus lines, and car traffic above ground. A necessary renovation of the infrastructure gave reason to reconsider the spatial situation and to transform the chaotic location into an inviting urban landmark.


An extensive structural analysis, in which the daily routes of the various users were tracked and mapped onto a site model, served as the basis for its redesign. As a first step, car traffic – which had previously cut off the station like an island between two lanes – was reduced to a single lane. This made it possible to develop the station square as an extended public space, while ensuring its connection to the city centre. Dimensions, positions, and the design of the various elements – from access and infrastructure to recreational areas and bicycle stands – were tried and tested. Today, six pavilions made of raw concrete are arranged between the flow lines on the extensive square, marking access to the underground tracks (stairs, escalators, and elevators) and related service points. Beneath the flat, organically shaped roofs are glazed elements housing ticket counters, kiosks, and sanitary facilities. Their amorphous forms prevent unattractive backsides, while the high degree of transparency fosters a sense of orientation and safety for pedestrians. Solar cells on the green roofs contribute to the station’s power supply, while the plants absorb CO2 from the air. A clever solution was found to handle the large number of bicycles: the architects lowered the ground surface by approx. 40 centimetres to create sunken islands of different sizes, which are outfitted with inclined bicycle racks to provide space for up to 2,500 parked bicycles. The bicycle lots are accessed by ramps, and are indicated by a change of pavement from paving stones to a nonslip concrete surface. This visual sense of order fosters an intuitive orientation in the urban space, underpinned by the lighting concept. Ventilation ducts from the underground track levels double as individually controllable light columns, which guide visitors across the square or offer a space to rest, thanks to the integrated benches. Despite the various structural demands, a high-quality urban space was created that is much more than a mere transit station.


4 Nørreport Station Cobe, Gottlieb Paludan Architects ○


Engineer: Niras; Sloth Møller Client: City of Copenhagen Completion: 2014 Effective area: 4,200 m2 Use: Outdoor pool, park, waterfront promenade


Kalvebod Brygge, Vesterbro #kalvebodbølge

Urban Agency, JDS Architects

Swimming in the Harbour Kalvebod Bølge

Using existing sources of water in the city for leisure activities is becoming increasingly popular. However, it is surprising that this is possible in a harbour suffering from industrial pollution for over five decades. Recognizing the potential of its harbourfront areas early on, Copenhagen started selling off property in the 1980s to develop modern office and business districts. The “Blue Plan” programme was also introduced, which included the designation of waterfront recreational areas to improve the harbour’s water quality. Its underlying aim: to create attractive urban space by revitalizing the harbour basins and making space for recreation, culture, and houseboats. The city’s first harbour bath opened in 2002, with a more permanent


design by PLOT taking its place the year after. Close to Islands Brygge, the floating swimming facility now features a series of decks that connect to form an extended platform. The outdoor pool is free of charge and quickly became a hotspot for Copenhageners. An unused waterfront area lay directly opposite the bath on the side of the city centre, not far from the Tivoli amusement park, the BLOX cultural centre, and various international companies. Today this is the site of Kalvebod Bølge (Kalvebod Waves), an undulating sculptural promenade. The complex stretches out over the water like a park landscape, leading back to land with walkways that rise to different levels. Benches, play areas, and lookout points invite visitors to linger. What may seem coincidental follows a precise plan. Rough winds in the exposed location were considered in the positioning, as well as the course of the sun and the shadows created by surrounding buildings. The path of the promenade creates two triangular water basins, each intended for different watersport activities. While the northern promenade is reserved for swimmers, the southern basin is for boats. A kayak and canoe club as well as a floating mini-hotel for canoeists share the adjoining service facilities. To complement the urban space available on land, a broad platform can be used to host various cultural events. The design of the artificial park landscape took inspiration from old industrial harbours for its choice of materials and colours. Concrete platforms raised above the water on stilts form the promenade, which is planked with robust, untreated pine wood. This is contrasted by slender railings with integrated lighting, reminiscent of maritime architecture. Only the neon orange playscape installed on the floating plaza breaks with the reduced material concept. The site’s cradle-to-cradle design approach ensures that all materials can be separated by type at the end of their service life so they can be recycled or reused.



2 4


Site plan, scale 1:3000

1 2

Kayak dock Seating steps

3 4

Stairs Islands Brygge Harbour Bath

8 Kalvebod Bølge Urban Agency, JDS Architects ○


Engineer: Leif Hansen Landscape design: Marianne Levinsen Client: Bofælleskabet Lange Eng/Lange Eng Cohousing Community Completion: 2008 Floor area: 6,400 m² Inner courtyard: 4,100 m² Use: Residential Number of housing units: 54 (72–135 m²) Number of occupants: approx. 200


Lange Eng 1, Albertslund 🌐langeeng.dk #langeeng

Dorte Mandrup

Communal Living Lange Eng Cohousing

Cohousing has a long tradition in Denmark. Since the late 1960s, the city’s different forms of communal living have drawn international attention. One of the largest and perhaps most radical community housing projects is Lange Eng in Albertslund, which was initiated by a small group in 2004 to realize their desire for socially oriented living. The central aim of the project was to establish a community accommodating a range of age and occupational groups, cultural backgrounds, and ways of living. To determine the different spatial requirements – common areas for meeting and communication, but also more private areas – an extensive participatory process was carried out, with various workshops held between the planners and the future residents.


Situated between dense building structures on one side and a forest on the other, the three-storey residential complex with a total of 54 dwellings was developed as a closed block. From the outside, the main structure seems rather closed and uninviting in terms of materials and colour. Outside access stairs and parking spaces are the only elements that reach into the exterior space. However, the opposite is true of the sheltered inner space of the block, which opens up to the communal garden courtyard. Here, floor-to-ceiling windows and translucent polycarbonate facades allow a variety of views and bright, sunlit interiors. A balanced combination of four, one- and two-storey dwelling types are arranged around the courtyard. At the heart of each residential unit is a large, open living room and kitchen area; the other rooms are oriented around that, while in the maisonettes they connect to this central, double-height space on the upper level. Each dwelling has direct access to the garden, either via a covered wooden terrace or a staircase leading down from upper level units, which slope outward to protect the privacy of the apartments below. One special feature is the common house, which most impressively conveys the idea of the social community. The ground floor houses the kitchen, a dining area for 100 people, and a play corner for the children. Residents can eat together here six days a week. On the upper floor there is a movie room, library, and a multifunctional room for further group activities. It’s all part of the concept: every adult resident contributes to the community by providing labour, be it cooking, cleaning, or taking responsibility for community affairs as members of a working group.


Site plan, scale 1:5000

24 Lange Eng Cohousing Dorte Mandrup ○


Imprint, Picture Credits

Editor: Sandra Hofmeister

Project Manager: Sandra Leitte

Design: strobo B M

Authors: Eva Herrmann (project texts), Sandra Hofmeister, Jakob Schoof

Editorial Support: Charlotte Petereit

Illustrations: Barbara Kissinger Emese Köszegi

Interviews: Dorte Mandrup, Kim Herforth Nielsen, Dan Stubbergaard

Paper: Munken Print White 90 g, vol. 1.8 © 2021, first edition DETAIL Business Information GmbH, Munich detail.de

German Copyediting: Sandra Leitte, Reproduction: Katrin Pollems-Braunfels Ludwig Media AT-Zell am See English Translation: Alisa Kotmair Printing and Binding: Eberl & Kœsel GmbH & Co. KG DE-Altusried-Krugzell

This work is protected by copyright. Unauthorized duplication of its contents, even in part, is not permitted and punishable in accordance with copyright law.

The German National Library lists this publication in the German National Bibliography. Detailed bibliographical data can be found at: http://dnb.d-nb.de.

ISBN (print) 978-3-95553-538-4 ISBN (eBook) 978-3-95553-539-1



Picture credits: Als, Christian, pp. 144–145 Baan, Iwan, pp. 24, 27, 32 bottom, 34–35, 286–287 Bach, Ursula, p. 110 Bolther, Bo, p. 214 By & Havn/photo: Ole Malling, p. 172 Céline Au détour d’un chemin, p. 13 centre Cobe, Sleth, Polyform, Rambøll, pp. 6, 16, 90, 140, 234

Cycle Superhighway Bicycle Account 2019, p. 88 Danica Pension, p. 298 Enoch, Pernille, pp. 106, 112–113 Eriksen, Line, p. 133 Eskerod, Torben, pp. 30–31, 32 top, 142– 143, 213, 216, 220–221 Heiberg, Martin, pp. 82, 283 Hjortshøj, Rasmus – Coast, pp. 22–23, 36–46, 50, 52, 54, 57–58, 60, 63, 64, 66–68, 72–74, 87, 121,

124–127, 134, 137–139, 148, 151–153, 156–157, 175, 179, 194, 228, 231– 233, 236–237, 240–242, 244–246, 248–250, 253–254, 256–257, 288, 291–293 Hofmeister, Sandra, p. 85 bottom Holsegaard, Enok, pp. 76, 79, 80 Hufton+Crow, pp. 98, 101–102, 104–105 Københavns Stadsarkiv, pp. 168 (photo: Johannes J. Danielsen), 171

Lindhe, Jens Markus, pp. 33, 176 bottom, 210, 297, 300, 303, 305–306 Lundberg, Viggo, p. 180 Magasanik, Jan, p. 284 MøllerLøkkegaard, anlaeg-ml.dk, p. 294 Mørk, Adam, pp. 146–147, 158, 160–161, 165–166, 184–188, 191, 193, 199, 201–202, 205–206, 208, 222, 226, 258, 261–262, 265 Ossip, p. 225

Ransome, Nicholas, p. 131 Rasmussen, Astrid Maria, pp. 94–97, 118 Rasmussen, Daniel, pp. 13 top, 176 top Room 606 at Radisson Collection Royal Hotel Copenhagen, pp. 10–11 Stamer, Laura, pp. 266, 269, 270, 272–273, 278 Stange, Ty, p. 280 Sune Berg, Anders, pp. 18–19 Supercykelstier, p. 85 top

The City of Copenhagen/ Troels Heien, p. 84 The Copenhagen Metro, p. 71 Tivoli Gardens, pp. 92– 93 (photo: Lasse Salling), 114 (Tivoli Marketing), 117 (photo: Christian Ley) Trood, David, p. 209 Urban Agency, pp. 109, 111 Wyon, Kim, pp. 13 bottom, 20–21, 238–239 ZeBU, p. 81

Zwinge Stehen, Karen, p. 128

production of this book, be it through providing photos, granting permission to reproduce their documents, or providing other information. All the drawings were specially produced for this publication. In some cases, we were unable to establish copyright ownership; however, copyright is assured. Please notify us accordingly in such instances.

Cover: Rasmus Hjortshøj – Coast All photos and drawings by OMA and MVRDV: © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021 The publisher would like to express its sincere gratitude to all those who have assisted in the