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2_3_ScanMagazine_Issue_81_Oct-Nov_2015_Scan Magazine 1 15/10/2015 21:36 Page 52

Building communities across Scandinavia When Copenhagen-based Tegnestuen Vandkunsten was founded in 1970, its young architects set out to challenge the often dreary, impersonal style of the era. Ahead of their time, they sought to create sustainable local communities: places that could help real, personable neighbourhoods flourish for generations to come. By Louise Older Steffensen | Photos: Vandkunsten

“Today, like then, we want the inhabitant of 214B to know they’re not just a number, but an important part of a smaller, organic community,” says Flemming Ibsen, senior architect and partner at Vandkunsten. It is a philosophy that they have taken with them to large-scale building projects throughout Scandinavia, most recently in Norway, where they uncovered some interesting differences between the neighbouring nations. “In flat little Denmark, we’d be overjoyed to find a site where the terrain rises by a few metres from one end to the other,” Ibsen’s colleague and fellow partner Jan Albrechtsen explains. “We’d make a de-

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sign feature of such terrain. In Norway, they see it as a minor inconvenience.”

den that there are some really important but subtle differences, from the handling of planning permissions to what homeowners prioritise,” he adds. “In Norway and Sweden especially, it’s vital for Danish architects not to assume that we know how everything’s done, as the cultures can be deceptively similar.” Scandinavian subtleties

It is not just mountain envy, however, that differentiates the two countries. “We’ve learnt through previous work in places like Germany, the Netherlands and Swe-

Both architects emphasise the importance of collaborating with local architecture companies to ensure that the plans and buildings meet local expectations. “On an

Scan Magazine, Issue 81, October 2015  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Swedish singer Ane Brun.

Scan Magazine, Issue 81, October 2015  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with Swedish singer Ane Brun.