Statens Værksteder for Kunst

The Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen (see previous post) will move to a new building at present under construction on the city side of the harbour, close to the National Library, but for at least three years it will remain in its present home in a very large brick warehouse on the south side of the harbour. The gable end of the building is towards the water and the range stretches back towards Strandgade. 

The end of the building away from the harbour is occupied by Statens Værksteder for Kunst (Danish Art Workshops) who have been here since 1986 providing studios and workshops including metal and wood workshops, a graphic art studio, a weaving workshop, a large textile-printing workshop (including a dyeing lab and drying room) computer, ceramics and photography workshops all with the support of professional staff and specialists. There is a conservation workshop and even accommodation for guest residences.

Craftspeople and artists can apply for places at the workshops giving them the opportunity to work on a much larger scale than may be possible in their own studios and gives them access to a huge range of machines and techniques and of course advice as well as the inspiration of working with other artists and makers.

I get the impression that resident artists find the space inspirational. The web site for SVK has photographs of the workshops which show just how open and spacious and light these old warehouses are … if the warehouses are impressive outside, the interiors are even more striking with massive timbers and beams with short diagonal braces creating a very substantial superstructure as these warehouses were built to carry very heavy floor loadings - a distinct asset for the workshops with their equipment.

Residency at SVK is normally for up to six months and applications are processed by specialist committees.

The workshops come under the Danish Ministry of Culture and this practical and very tangible support for makers, artists and designers shows an important national commitment to developing these professional skills.