Kultur Natten ... reporting back


Actually it’s difficult to report back on Kultur Natten - or at least on the night overall because, even with careful planning, and even trying to pick a sensible route, it is impossible to see everything you want. This year there were around 250 different venues around the city and in many of the main buildings and the galleries and museums and theatres there were full programmes of different events all through the evening.

And then part of the real pleasure of these events is that you get caught up in watching a demonstration you hadn’t even planned to see or you ask a question and you find yourself pulled in by someones enthusiasm and expertise. So this is a bit of an impression … my impression … of some of the places I managed to get to see … and some of the queues I saw in passing.

For many people in the city Kultur Natten is their chance to see inside some of most important buildings in in the city that they walk past most days, but where normally access for the general public is restricted …. simply because from Monday to Friday these are busy working places … but from 6pm until midnight on Kultur Natten, not only is there open house but in most of the buildings people are there to explain what they do and why and in some you get to explore what goes on beyond the public areas. 

So this year I took this opportunity to look around the Eastern Courthouse - built in the 18th century as an opera house in what was then the new town around the Amalienborg Palace - and then went to the City Court House - in what was, through the 19th century, the city hall until the present City Hall was completed in the early 20th century - and then on to the present and famous city hall itself where I joined thousands of people exploring the council chamber, function rooms, amazing staircases and the archives.

Of course there were long queues of people keen to get a first look at sections of the new metro before it opens and as always the government buildings of Christiansborg and the State Apartments and the kitchens and royal stables on the island were incredibly popular.

This was the first time since it was almost-completely rebuilt that I have been into the DI building - the headquarters of Danish Industry close to the City Hall - apart that is from seeing exhibitions in the entrance.

A new exhibition of photographs City Struck opened at the Danish Architecture Centre and this will be the last major exhibition here in the present building before they move to BLOX - a new building close to the National Library. 

There were light shows on many of the buildings and food stalls and beer tents and coffee places everywhere ... the smell of roasting marshmallows in the courtyard of the Design Museum was amazing. And there were jazz bands and performances and I heard several times in the distance military bands and I know there were choirs singing in several of the churches and in the Thorvaldsen Museum.

And everywhere there were special displays and demonstrations so, at the Design Museum, people watched to see how a craftsman from Carl Hansen makes the seat of a wishbone chair in paper cord. At Realdania there were demonstrations of carpentry and people could try their hand at brick laying or blacksmithing and Heidi Zilmer was there to talk about the amazing wallpaper she recreated for the house of Poul Henningsen in Gentofte that was recently restored by Realdania and, of course, there were staff there to talk about the important historic buildings Realdania own, preserve and, where possible, open to the public.

It’s important to describe the good humoured sort of carnival-like atmosphere around the city as people line up to get into the places they really want to see - the line of people outside the gallery at G L Strand was amazing - and although most events are open until late - many until midnight - it really is an evening for children and families ….. I’m sure there are regulars who get there as the doors open to get to the huge collection of Lego brought out at the Danish Architecture Centre ….. and kids get a chance to watch special events in the theatres or the Opera House and they can explore the stage or see the scenery up close.

This is all driven, in part, by the idea that Copenhagen belongs to its citizens and, when possible, they should have access to its buildings and organisation, but really it’s about pride and enthusiasm … the enthusiasm of the people who work for the city and its galleries and its administration and its companies and the enthusiasm of the citizens for what goes on in their city.



Kulturtårnet on the bridge - Knippelsbro

Light show in the courtyard of the Design Museum on the gable of the pavilion of the old pharmacy

The new exhibition at the Danish Architecture Centre and children looking at a display outside the entrance

Heidi Zilmer at Realdania talking about the wallpaper that she recreated for the house of Poul Henningsen in Gntofte

Loius Poulsen where there was open house in the show rooms on Gammel Starnd

The Department of Industry

The inner atrium of the City Hall with people looking at the building and meeting staff and looking at stalls about the work of the council and the city

Kultur Natten 2017


Tomorrow evening - the 13th October - it is Kultur Natten in Copenhagen.

Galleries, museums, government departments, theatres and organisations all over the city will be open - most through to midnight - with special events, demonstrations and teams of people on hand to explain what they do and why they do it.

You need a pass that costs just DKK 95 and that not only gets you in but includes train, metro and bus travel within the central area if you need transport.

Go to the program and plan your route around what you want to see … the one thing that is certain about the evening is that it is impossible to see everything


M/S Bibiana


A coaster that has been refitted as an exhibition and teaching space with workshops for children centred around fairy stories and tales of the sea.

Funded by Nordea Fonden, the ship has had a full programme through the summer visiting ports and coastal towns around Denmark.


M/S Bibiana will be moored at the quay at Kroyers Plads until 14 October

Ørestad street art


These hoardings are not around engineering works for the new metro but around the construction site for a new apartment building on C F Møllers Allé just south of the Bella Center in Ørestad. The art work is by pupils at the nearby gymnasium. 

I like the cryptic statement that WE BLAME SOCIETY BUT WE ARE SOCIETY and then there is .... 

The tigers of wrath

are wiser than

The horses or instruction

But never forget

The Pandas of rest

Rather like a proverb or a good fortune cookie where you can’t work out the meaning but it sticks in the memory. And wrath spelt correctly in English by a kid from a Danish school is really impressive by why horses or instruction which implies a choice? I can have horses or instruction but not both? Or are there modern references here that I'm too old to understand?

more metro hoardings


looking across the centre of the engineering works for the extension of the metro station at this key point of interchange ... the equestrian statue of the king Christian V survives in isolation - high hoardings face outwards all round the works - the view was taken from the gate to the site but there are also glazed panels in the hoardings and a viewing platform so people can see work progressing


On the high green hoardings around the building sites for the new metro there is usually art work - either by local artists or or by local community groups - and as the hoardings are moved or adjusted for a different section of work then new art work appears.

The sections on the north and west sides of Kongens Nytorv at the moment are particularly good. Art can be pure decoration but usually it gains in significance if it makes you look at something familiar in a different way or challenges you to rethink an assumption or brings you hard up against something you had never thought about before.

So here on three long adjoining sections of the hoarding are all three:


For Copenhagen List, the photographs of familiar features from the city are part of the celebrations to mark the 850th anniversary of the founding of Copenhagen. Because the prints are large and isolate the subject you see things that you see so often that you stop seeing them or you are surprised because a visitor comments. The Christiania bikes loaded with kids or shopping or both and a dog are a common site although it’s best not to not see them as in a bike v pedestrian clash it’s clear who would come off worst. These are not light-weight frames by a long shot and get up a surprising speed surprisingly quickly. Never under estimate a Christiania.

People have been asked to vote on which photos represent the city best and I still think my vote is for the Copenhagen bench ... good to look at and better to sit on but then I like people watching.

To follow the result go to københavnerkanon.dk


The photographer Kiên Hoàng Lê lives in Berlin but he studied in Denmark. His photographs that were taken in 2016 are superb. The series is about the problem of identity … about feeling Vietnamese in Germany where he grew up or feeling German when he returns to Vietnam but then despite that displacement understanding that people have more in common than they realise. Curiosity - for a start - is universal.


On Mirror Wave by the artist Frederik Hesseldahl, the boldly curved reflecting panels give a distorted image of the familiar scene in part because the overpainted design fragments the view but the curved reflection also adds a weird speed or whip to how the brain registers what it is looking at … so focus on trying to work out which part of which building you are actually looking at and the reflection of someone walking behind you or even someone cutting in front changes pace as the image goes in and out of the hollows and, of course, as you move your own image distorts and changes.

People can upload their images of this work to an Instagram page @MIRROR_WAVE or a Facebook page @MIRRORWAVE.CPH


As always, when I’m taking photographs in a city, I was checking quickly to see if anyone was about to walk into the frame. Sometimes I realise a person will add scale or context so delay just a second or two until they get into the picture but sometimes someone just off frame is the last person I need so I wait and then sometimes I catch sight of the perfect person for that photo coming along and they stop and apologise and walk round behind me. Here I just caught a glimpse of this scene as I was about to take a photo of the hoarding to the left and I turned and pressed the shutter as I turned because I knew I was about to loose it. Certainly not a good photo technically but the young girl, imitating the wing span of the swans, dropped her feet back to the ground as I took the shot. It was only when I downloaded the photos that I realised the young boy, presumably her brother, was not only trying to ignore her - he muttered something as he walked away - but also he was doing the Copenhagen Walk - keeping to the smooth stones.

yet more drains


This is not the start of an ongoing series but having posted a photograph of one drain then - a bit like with biscuits - it’s difficult to stop at just one.

The triangular drain is on the outer part of the paving at the centre of Kongens Nytorv where there is a chevron pattern in the stone setts. Diagonal lines are fairly common around the city as a way of diverting surface water towards a drain but here it becomes a giant pattern laid out around the central equestrian statue and the drain covers respect the pattern. They have a stylised version of the water of the harbour that is part of the city crest.

On Ofelia Plads the long drains running across the new public space have pierced iron plates and the inspection covers pick up the same size of small circle but they are reversed to form projecting studs so that the surface provides more traction when they are wet. With large building projects in the city it is rare to see evidence that the architects have turned to a junior in the drawing office and said … “I really don’t care … just pick anything from the catalogue that fits.” In Danish design every detail should matter even if most people don’t notice … even when they are standing on it.

The two examples from Ørestad on Amager are included - in part because they are interesting and in part because they are very much in the middle of a huge building site as this phase of new apartments is finished. Canals, trees and hard landscaping are in as work progresses so people moving in first have at least some semblance of a normal street outside their door.

These are not so much drains as iron inspection covers. HOFOR is the Copenhagen water company.

Looking on their web site recently for something else I came across an aspect of city planning that I had never thought about before. There was a heading and a link to a post on heat seeking drones and it turns out that on Amager the communal heating system has pipework that if stretched out would get to Rome and then all the way back. That is partly why there are so many iron covers with some for drainage systems and others for utility services like the communal heating. The drone is used to identify leaks in the system and it works best if it is flown when it is dark and the roads are dry and it has to be flown in co-ordination with the airport. So next time the flashing lights of a drone appear immediately above you they are probably not interested in you at all but what you are standing on. 

Vindspejlet - Windmirror


A large sculpture or mobile has been installed at the far end of Kvæsthusmolen - the long open space at the north side of the National Theatre in Copenhagen … more popularly known as Ofelia Plads.

The installation - by the composer and sound artist Ragnhild May and Ea Borre who makes machines and kinetic sculptures - is a giant weather vane that is five metres high with four long arms that are supported on a grey metal pyramid-shaped base that looks rather like a harbour buoy. The upper part spins as the wind catches large curved metal plates on each arm that are painted yellow or red so that they look like maritime or harbour pendants. Two cone-shaped speakers relay and amplify the sound of the wind as the arms spins around.


Installed at the end of September, Vindspejlet will be at the north end of the mole through until 30th November 2017.

brick cladding


Out near the beach on the east side of Amager there are large new apartment buildings that are going up and at an incredible speed because of the method of construction being used with large panels of preformed concrete lifted into place by huge cranes before then being fixed or linked together. 

Then, on the outer face, goes insulation and a veneer of brick in large sheets made in a factory …. and that is where I begin to have reservations.

read more


bricking up doorways

This is an interesting / amusing / odd example of fake brickwork …. and I still can’t decide if it’s a joke or it’s an attempt to hide a service door that wasn’t quite subtle enough to get away with the attempt at camouflage. Doorways are bricked up when a building is abandoned and derelict but this is a new building so is it a bit of irony or did someone see one of those drain covers that is actually a shallow tray that can be filled with cobbles or paving bricks so they blend in and is this that idea flipped upright? Whatever the reason … it’s not just another brick in the wall.



Courthouse, Frederiksberg by 3XN 2012

Copenhagen brick

In Copenhagen major buildings in brick survive from the early 17th century, or earlier, but the most prominent are from the 19th and early 20th century. 

There are a range of styles or fashions in these brick buildings and high-quality brickwork can be seen on all types of buildings from major industrial buildings to churches and from some of the most impressive early social housing through to apartment buildings for the wealthy …. but the important points are more general: brick is a durable building material - so in Europe and Africa and the Middle East huge Roman constructions in brick survive after 2,000 years - and bricks have been used throughout the World so brick is a common building material.  

And brick as a building material is relatively cheap so what is important with brickwork is the imagination of the architects and builders and the skills of the brick makers and brick layers in using a simple material. 

Walk around Copenhagen … the buildings around Israels Plads or along H C Andersens Boulevard are a good place to start … and you realise what a huge force of skilled artisans there were in the city to achieve such an extensive and impressive rebuilding and expansion of the city after 1870.


the DASA award

Designmuseum Danmark has received the prestigious DASA award of the European Museum Academy.

The conclusion of the award jury was that: 

"Design Museum Denmark is a vibrant, forward-looking museum that aims to place design at the center of the life lived. The museum with its new strategy evolved from being a traditional museum to one that is relevant to the 21st century, and today attracts visitors of all ages and from all walks of life. With emphasis on excellence and lifelong learning as the museum a worthy winner of this year's DASA Award. " 

This is well-deserved recognition of a very active education programme and events that attract a broad range of visitors and for an exhibition programme that presents design over a broad period and over a wide range of topics. Recently, there have been major exhibitions on the work of Kaare Klint and of the work of Hans Wegner - major figures in the history of modern Danish design - but then the current exhibition, on the interaction of the art and design of Japan with Danish taste and design, places Danish design firmly in a broader international context. 

Recent exhibitions - including the work of the Danish Cabinetmakers’ Association in Unfolds and the current exhibition Side by Side Out Side, the Cabinetmakers’ Autumn exhibition - have encouraged visitors to explore and understand the works directly by touching and handling the exhibits and the important new display of chairs from the collection and the exhibition of design from 2000 to 2015 have experimented successfully with new styles of presentation including more use of videos and, for instance, interviews with designers.

Dansk Nu - that exhibition of recent design - also marks a deliberate and successful attempt to stake a claim to representing current design so the museum is seen as proactive and relevant rather than simply passive as a record of what has been accepted as the best of the past. 

Events spill out into the courtyard garden and onto the entrance court with fairs and demonstrations so, with the very popular cafe and the shop that always seems busy, perhaps the best single word to describe the museum is that word vibrant used by the jury.


photograph by Novica Krstikj


Unfolds - the exhibition of the work of the Cabinetmakers' Association



the new permanent exhibition of chair design


side by side inside ... a chair made for the Wegner exhibition

side by side by side by side outside in the museum garden

Side by Side Outside - the current exhibition




Rotation - the work of the ceramicist Jane Holmberg Andersen in the current exhibition at the gallery of Danske Kunsthåndværke & Designere Bredgade 66, Copenhagen until 8th October

Copenhagen minimal

If you read about Danish design, or talk to someone about Danish design, the key words seem to be light, or natural or well made or quality but then, somewhere, at some stage, you get the word simple or now, more often, the word minimal.

So thinking about minimalism in Danish design, I wanted to see if I could find the most minimal object or minimal design in the city. To count it had to be designed … obviously … so thought through and planned and deliberate … and not a one-off design but manufactured or reproduced.

This is my best offering to date. It’s the triangle in yellow painted on a kerb just along from a road junction to show that you cannot park any closer to the corner without obstructing the traffic coming in and out at the junction and, more important, you cannot park beyond the triangle without chancing a fine.

It’s small - each side just 10 cm - and I guess that reduces any ambiguity because the point of the triangle towards the road implies that there is a thin line that is projected out across the road - implied and not actually painted onto the road - so again about as minimal as you can get.

read more

update on Knippelsbro graffiti


In an earlier post with the heading - I just don’t understand - I wrote about the graffiti daubed on the copper tower of Knippelsbro - the main bridge at the centre of the harbour in Copenhagen.

This evening I saw it had been cleaned but that has left a scar because, inevitably, along with the paint, the patina on the surface of the copper has been removed.

As I said before, I understand that some people feel powerless or feel that no one is listening to why they feel excluded or ignored. But surely this sort of graffiti is simply thoughtless and selfish. It is imposing what is painted on everyone … whether or not they like it or want to see it. Am I wrong in seeing it as a sort of hectoring or bullying? 

The bridge is not a symbol of authority or symbol of oppression. In fact it is just the opposite. It was built in the late 1930s … a time of huge economic and political uncertainty … but was a clear symbol of confidence and pride in the city … built for the city … and built with a sense of hope for the future - that is why it is unashamedly modern - and it must have been seen as an investment in the future because it was primarily practical and well built … a wide new bridge crossing high above the water for trams and for bikes for workers and for ordinary people going in and out of the city but also a bridge that could be opened quickly and efficiently to let taller vessels pass from one part of the harbour to another.

the tower of Knippelsbro earlier in the week


a cleaner and much more elegant SAS Hotel


The SAS building - the hotel in the centre of Copenhagen that was designed by Arne Jacobsen - is being cleaned. 

That odd yellow grey green colour on the panels - presumably from air pollution - is being washed off and what has been revealed underneath is the soft grey-blue cloudy-sky colour of the panels that makes the tower look much more elegant and much more subtle. 

It might seem odd to talk about the design of such a large building as subtle but cleaning has restored a sharper, graphic character to the design - so that it is seems less about mass or volume - and the colour revealed restores a crucial relationship to the sky and to the reflection of clouds because from immediately below or from a distance the tower is seen against the sky rather than alongside or against other buildings.


see also:

geometry and proportion in buildings by Arne Jacobsen

all in the detail



Copenhagen is the city of amazing design and of amazing architectural details and much of that detail, carefully thought through and carefully executed, is on historic buildings.

Much that I admire about modern architecture is to do with broad concepts and about clever engineering or about simple and beautiful proportions but rarely is modern architecture about the details or the quality of craftsmanship. 

Of course there are exceptions … like the National Bank by Arne Jacobsen ... but generally modern architecture, even in this city, is no longer about craftsmanship.

I don’t mean by that craftsmanship in any quaint or nostalgic sense - an image of the old and experienced master at his work bench - but in broader terms of workmanship combined with a complete understanding of the materials being used and the techniques employed but combined with genuine pride in the finished work and - even more difficult to define - work executed with imagination and panache or bravado … about making something that will last and creating something that people will appreciate and enjoy for years or decades or centuries ahead.

That's not the sort of design that looks good on the bottom line of the annual accounts but, more crucial, it is as an investment.


all in the detail



The best design is not necessarily about award winning architecture or beautifully made furniture but is always about sorting out the details. 

Here it’s a drain in the cobbles of the quay in Christianshavn close to the new bridge by Olafur Eliasson. 

How many people, admiring the bridge or sauntering along the harbour, look down at what they are walking over or standing on?

But one way to judge and appreciate well thought-through design and the use of good, well-made fittings is to think about what it might have been like if someone had not thought through those details.


Lille Langebro

Over the Summer, work has progressed on the new cycle and pedestrian bridge over the harbour. Substantial piles have been driven in on the Christianshavn side for the south approach to the bridge and shuttering is in place and the intermediate piers across the river are being constructed.

The bridge for bicycles and for pedestrians will link Langebrogade on the Christianshavn side to Christians Brygge on the city side and in plan will follow a gentle curve starting on the line of Langebrogade which is set at an angle as it approaches the harbour from the south but will align with Vester Voldgade on the city side. The harbour at this point is just under 150 metres wide and the bridge will rise to provide a clearance of 5.4 metres towards the middle so smaller boats can pass under but two sections will pivot apart to provide a clear passage 35 metres wide when open for higher vessels to move up and down the harbour.

The design is by the London architectural practice of WilkinsonEyre with the engineers BuroHappold and Urban Agency who have offices in Copenhagen and whose projects in the city include their work on the Kalvebod Wave close to the site of the new bridge but on the other side of Langebro.

In profile, as well as in it’s plan, drawing indicate that the new bridge will be rather more elegant than the new central harbour bridge … so closer in style to Bryggebroen - the bridge by Dissing + Weitling that was completed in 2006 to cross the harbour from Amager to the shopping centre of Fisketorvet on the city side.

WilkinsonEyre, on their internet site, state that they "love to make dynamic use of space, light and materials, focusing on proportions to create something memorable that lifts the spirits and has a logic and sense of place." 

The bridge deck will have edge beams with a triangular section and rather as with Belverderebroen these will change or ‘flex’ from horizontal at the quay to more upright at the centre - to provide a stronger sense of a parapet at the highest point - before dropping back as the bridge reaches the opposite shore. A section of the bridge was shown on site last summer but the Urban Agency site has a good sequence of drawings that shows how the cross section of the bridge alters towards the centre.


Urban Agency

illustrations from WilkinsonEyre and Urban Agency


map from the 19th century showing clearly the bastions and the water between the city and the gardens at Tivoli. H C Andersens Boulevard was built here in the late 19th century

the alignment of the new bridge on an aerial view from Google


view c.1860 before the wharves on the city side were constructed. The new bridge will be approximately on the line of the timber bridge shown here and Langebro bridge - completed in 1954 - is closer to the line of groins further out at what was then the entrance to the harbour

Langebro crossing the harbour from the city side to Amager Boulevard. The bridge designed by Kaj Gottlob was completed in 1954. The separate swing bridge for the railway has been demolished. Langebrogade, on the Christianshavn side of the city defences, is the road running away from the viewpoint top left in the photograph.

In terms of planning - both modern planning and the historic street plan - the new bridge is fascinating. The main bridge across the harbour until the 1950s - certainly in terms of traffic was Knippelsbro. There had been a bridge linking the historic centre of the city with Christianshavn in that location - give or take 20 metres - from the early 17th century.

Below, to the south of Knippelsbro, the harbour was actually much much wider than it is now, like a broad estuary although there had been long narrow timber bridges across linking the defences around the west side of the city with the fortifications around Christianshavn, so connecting Kalvebod Bastion on the city side to Rysensteen Bastion on the Amager side. 

Through the late 19th and early 20th century, the banks on either side at this south end of the harbour were altered, with quays and wharves constructed on both sides, that narrowed the channel, and there were a series of more important bridges, including rail bridges, at this point. 

As the defensive embankment around the city was removed - from the 1870s onwards - the water outside the embankment was filled in - apart from short sections that survive in the Tivoli gardens - and the new broad strip of newly drained and infilled land was built across with major new civic buildings including the city hall and the city hall square and on round towards the harbour - along what was then the new boulevard - were the Glyptotek and a number of city institutions so in the mid 1870s the bridge over the harbour was widened.

That was replaced by a swing bridge in 1903 but after the war, in the early 1950s, that bridge and an adjoining rail bridge were demolished. A temporary bridge had been constructed and then, in 1954, the present wide road bridge - Langebro - designed by Kaj Gottlob was completed. This took traffic from H C Andersens Boulevard not to Christianshavn but to Amager Boulevard, a major new road outside the defences.

The bridge has heavy use by road traffic- including up to 35,000 bikes crossing Langebro EACH DAY - so the new bridge is designed to encourage cyclists to take a separate route.

There has been extensive development lower down the harbour, with new apartment buildings on the Amager side below Islands Brygge, so the main approach ramp to the bridge on that side of the harbour will be turned in that direction although many from Christianshavn and from the east side of Amager also cycle into the city so the diagonal run of Langebrogade, inside the old defence works, should become a much more important cycle route.

On the city side of the new bridge, Vester Voldgade has been re landscaped to provide a safer and more attractive route into the centre with a wide bike lane for a way into the city centre that is parallel to H C Andersens Boulevard and will take cyclists directly to the City Hall Square and the new major metro interchange that will open there next year or it will give them a route on round to the central station where there are plans to rebuild and extend the cycle storage facilities there. 

You can see now how the integrated bicycle and metro and train systems are being linked together.


from Christianshavn with the new building, BLOX, to the right and in the distance, at the end of Vester Voldgade, the tower of City Hall. Shuttering is where the intermediate piers of the new bridge are being constructed.


from Langebro in May with BLOX to the left, the old sugar company building and Christianshavn to the right and Knippelsbro in the distance


engineering works for one of the piers of the new bridge photographed from the harbour ferry in August with the old sugar company building on the Christianshavn side 


new routes into the city from the harbour

Frederiksholms Kanal from BLOX looking towards the Marble Bridge with the new cobbles and trees with more restricted parking for cars

looking towards the harbour with BLOX in the distance and the Brewhouse of Christian IV on the far side of the canal


BLOX will be the new home of the Danish Architecture Centre and work on the building is moving forward but the roads to the building from the city centre have already been remodelled.

On the east side the road alongside the canal was resurfaced this summer. Most spaces for parking cars have been removed and the wide area cobbled and trees planted to create a very pleasant route for pedestrians that links BLOX to Marmorbroen - the Marble Bridge to Christiansborg - and to Nationalmuseet - the National Museum or, from there, on to Gammel Strand or on further to Gammeltorv and Vor Frue Kirke.

Vester Voldgade to the west now has a wide bike lane and attractive new hard landscaping and planting of trees. Aligned with the new bicycle and pedestrian bridge over the harbour it will link BLOX to City Hall Square.



Vester Voldgade with the tower of the city hall in the distance