testing the alternatives

At an early stage in a building project, a trial section of wall can be constructed on the site to get a clear sense of the colour of the main material in the actual location and it is also a chance to judge the effect of different colours or different textures of mortar which can have much more of an impact than many people would expect … dark mortar tends to act rather like the black leading in a stained glass window by making the colours of the main material, stone or brick, darker and will certainly emphasise any pattern in the bonding.

The appearance and the character of a facade will be modified by the light as it changes through the day and materials will certainly look very different from their appearance in the studio or even as seen on an another building. And colours and textures look different if they are in shadow, on a side away from the sun, or face towards the sun and are brightly lit and architectural details can look very different in bright light reflected up off water… bright light can make even strongly-projecting features look thin or flat or bleached out.

ATP Pakhus by Lundgaard and Tranberg on the Langelinie Quay in Copenhagen has just been completed but trial sections of wall were built at the construction site on the quay. Clearly two very different colours of brick were considered. Perhaps the deep orange brick was chosen rather than the very dark brown because a heavier tone, for such a large building, could have looked oppressive. It is interesting to compare the brickwork on the finished building with the appearance of the historic brick warehouses along the inner harbour and in Christianshavn.

ATP Pakhus, Langaliniekaj (2016)

Nordatlantens Brygge, Strandgade (1767)

sculpture of the Langelinie

The promenade north along the harbour from Nodre Toldbod follows the east side of the Kastellet fortification, skirts the edge of a marina and then follows the quay of the Langelinekajen to its north end. There are a number of sculptures along the walk starting perhaps with the most prominent, the Gefion Fountain by Anders Bundgaard, given to the city to mark the 50th anniversary of the Carlsberg Brewery in 1897.

At the north-east corner of the Kastellet defences is the Monument to Mariners of 1928 by Svend Rathsack and Ivar Bentsen.

The Bather by Carl Aarsleff from 1909 is in the gardens on the south side of the marina and the Polar Bear with Cubs by the Danish sculptor Holger Peder Wederkinch is just beyond the marina. There is a bust of the polar explorer Ejnar Mikkelsen (1880-1971) on the inner side of the path. This dates from 1944 and is by the sculptor Adam Fischer.


The promenade walk continues north on top of the single-storey warehouses with rough-cut stone arches and decorative iron railing and is almost a sculpture in its own right.

Towards the centre of the pier, between the buildings, is a public square, Dahlerups Plads, with a large fountain ... The Genetically Modified Paradise by Bjørn Nørgaard. There, just in the harbour basin on the west side of the pier, is The Genetically Modified Mermaid in bronze.

Oh the actual Little Mermaid. Well surely no one wants yet another blog photo of that sculpture however famous.  

On the wharf on the west side of the buildings are some permanent exercise contraptions … presumably for office worker’s jogging round the harbour in their lunch break … and these are so well designed and are such a good addition to the street scape that they too should be considered to be public sculpture.