Scan Magazine, Issue 105, October 2017

Page 34

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture & Design Special – Denmark

With its 26,000 square metres and multiple diverse functions, Himmelbyen in Ørestad will, when finished in 2018, constitute a complete living urban organism.

Maintaining the human scale when building big As Copenhagen’s population continues to grow, so does the demand for large-scale residential developments. Årstiderne Arkitekter, one of Denmark’s largest architect firms, is putting its extensive resources into meeting this demand without losing the human scale. The key, according to creative leader Andreas Olrik, is not to get carried away by academic ambitions, but to keep the needs of the future residents at the heart of the plans. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Årstiderne Arkitekter

Founded in Silkeborg in 1985, Årstiderne Arkitekter today employs 226 people in Denmark, Norway and Sweden and undertakes more than 500 projects a year. But despite the fact that Årstiderne Arkitekter’s portfolio boasts an array of spectacular buildings, the firm’s leading ambition is not the creation of landmarks, 34  |  Issue 105  |  October 2017

but the perfection of everyday buildings such as offices, homes and shops. “The highest aspirations – yes, we have that. But our starting point is not to create a marvellous architectural icon. For us, the highest aspiration is to solve the exact needs of a specific project. With

our client, we analyse what the needs are, what the population is like, what kind of people are attracted to this specific area, what their daily rhythm is like, whether they use public transport, and so on,” explains Olrik. “In that process, the aspiration will always be to solve the exact requirements, not to make a landmark without any connection to the site. A landmark might be of intellectual and architectural interest, but if it has no use in the daily life of the people in that area, it will end up a fiasco.” Årstiderne Arkitekter is currently working on a broad range of projects, ranging widely in location and structure from the

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