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INTERPRETATION OF A HARBOUR SHED “ISFUGLEN” WINTER BATHING HOUSE IN BRØNDBY Location Brøndby Havnevej, Denmark Client/Operator City of Brøndby Bifrost winter bathing club Architect MATTERS architects DK – 2200 Copenhagen Acoustic panels Troldtekt A/S DK – 8310 Tranbjerg J. Author MATTERS architects Photos Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, Brian Berg Official opening November 2020 Construction costs DKK 5.400.000 (EUR 730,000)


Bifrost winter bathing club is Brøndby’s fastest growing club with some 360 members and 270 aspirants on the waiting list. The idea for a new winter bathing house was first put forward in 2015 by Bifrost members, who will benefit most from the club house designed by Matters Architects. The winter bathing house measures 110 m² and contains a bath and changing room, sauna, barrier-free toilet, community room with kitchenette and a wooden terrace with outdoor shower, bathing jetty and stairs down to the cold water of the harbour basin. The building inaugurated in 2020 is called “Isfuglen” (literally “ice bird”, or “kingfisher” in English). The Danish term is appropriate as it contains the word “ice”. The club house is located at the very tip of the entry point to Brøndby Marine Harbour. The location is unique and gives the house and its members a special opportunity to become an authentic part of active harbour life. The exposed site conveys the idea of a beacon for those entering the harbour from the sea. Design concept related to context The house’s design is based on an analysis of the existing context. The harbour has an authentic

working atmosphere with boatyard and fishing equipment services, and people fixing their boats. The existing buildings and sheds are iconic and recognizable in material and shape. The new bathing club is a modern interpretation of these icons. The house mimics the existing buildings in shape and colour, while at the same time expressing their own unique identity – a recognizable identity and a shape that lends substance to the narrative of the harbour as an active and innovative meeting point. The large wooden deck links the club house to the ladder leading down to the waves. Part of the wooden deck affords public access to the harbour basin. sb 3/2021