the nights are drawing in

In Copenhagen the nights are now drawing in but just at that point where darkness begins to close in over the harbour, when the lights of the office buildings become more obvious and the blue of the sky and the blue of the water of the harbour deepen, it's quite a good time to take photographs.

This is the Headquarters for Unibank on Strandgade in Christianshavn designed by Henning Larsens Tegnestue and built on the site of B&W’s shipyard, following a competition in 1995, and completed in 1999. 

Six long, rectangular blocks are set with their ends towards the harbour - to reflect or echo the arrangement of warehouses previously on the site - but the overall plan is rather more complex and more subtle than first appears: some blocks are set at slight angles, two are linked by a screen of glass-faced corridors at all levels closing off the courtyards while others are linked by glazed bridges and there is an oval link between two of the blocks. Courtyards have an arrangement of water features and formal planting that is sculptural or architectural rather than natural or organic and is different in each with areas of gravel and patterns of cobbles. Landscape design was by Sven-Ingvar Andersson Aps.

End walls towards the harbour have screens set down one edge and set forward of the fenestration and the blocks appear to be built on raised stages - floating bases that over-sail the cobbles of the quay.

The group of buildings are immediately opposite the Royal Library … which was why I photographed them when I was taking photos of the library one evening last week. The elegant but stark and dark, flat-roofed blocks give a distinct character to this section of the harbour, below the road bridge, that is in marked contrast to the red and yellow brick warehouses with pitched roofs on the north side of the bridge.

The spire is Christian’s Church, originally the German Frederik’s Church in Christianshavn, designed by the architect Nicolai Eigtved and built in the 1750s.