Scan Magazine | Issue 69 | October 2014

Page 45

2_1_ScanMag_69_Oct_2014_Text:Scan Magazine 1



Page 45

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Nordic Architecture Denmark

per cent reduction in energy consumption. “This was the stepping stone onto the market for us, where we learned how to better integrate sustainable solutions in our projects. Energy-saving solutions in themselves are not interesting, but need to be a part of the larger picture. Thus, they have to be included among the basic ideas of the building from the very start,” Christensen suggests. The approach has proved successful, and the firm was nominated for the European Business Awards earlier this year, in the Environment and Corporate Sustainability category. “We are obviously flattered that our work is recognised, and that people appreciate what we do,” says Christensen.

Having drawn on the basis of the DTU 324 building, Christensen & Co Architects, in collaboration with Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects, won the prestigious Niels Bohr Building project in Copenhagen. Niels Bohr himself was a world-famous physicist, and the massive project will house thousands of students following in his footsteps when it opens its doors in 2016. The same intention of bringing together different research environments and academics lies at the heart of this building, creating seminar rooms and open areas based on a Matrix-structure. ”Many educational institutions encourage cooperation across academic interests and experience, and we are now bringing this into the architecture,” Christensen says.

Going back in time A leading country within sustainability, Denmark is an inspiration to many. Sustainability is a pressing issue, and it is becoming increasingly important within every aspect of society. However, Christensen makes the point that we are only just returning to old traditions. “Before, they built their houses to take advantage of the surrounding nature, cold or warm, and knew how to exploit the full potential of the house. You still see it in Africa and in the Arctic areas,” Christensen says, and continues: “That way, we are going back in time, taking into consideration wind directions, the sun, and the natural surroundings of the building.”

‘The greenest city hall in Sweden’ With the opening of the City Hall in Lund, Christensen & Co Architects introduced what is said to be the greenest city hall in Sweden. While low energy emissions is at the heart of the building, Christensen also paid great attention to how citizens are met in an institution such as that which the city hall represents. “People come for all sorts of reasons, be it unemployment benefits or building permits. Regardless of purpose, people should be met in a respectful and inviting way,” Christensen notes, and continues: “It was particularly interesting

The Niels Bohr Building: Atrium. The building was designed in close collaboration with Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects. The skywalk connecting the two buildings. Photos: Christensen & Co Architects and Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects

working in Lund, the so-called Cambridge of Scandinavia, where the city and the old university buildings are so traditional and old-fashioned, while we introduced a hyper-modern glass building. It has come together in a very harmonic way.” For more information, please visit:

Following this approach, every project adheres to particular characteristics, though not any particular style. “Every project and building has its own history, which we need to take into consideration, but the common denominator is utilisation of day light and creation of social spaces,” the director elaborates. Educational spheres out of the ordinary When the new DTU 324 building, part of the Technical University Denmark in Lyngby, opened in 2012, it made other students green with envy. The building is characterised by eight towers over three floors, containing research and lecture rooms, which are connected by bridges to encourage interaction and cooperation across academic disciplines.

The City Hall in Lund. Photos: Adam Mørk

Issue 69 | October 2014 | 45

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