Bygningspræmiering / Copenhagen Building Award 2019

Since 1902 the city of Copenhagen has made an annual award for the best architecture of the year.

Finalists for 2019 have been selected and the overall winner will be announced at the city hall on 10 April.

There are now four categories under which designs are considered for the award.

  •  New buildings and extensions of residential, commercial and cultural institutions.

  • Restoration, reconstruction, renewal and conversion of listed buildings and buildings worthy of preservation, renewal and transformation of cultural or architecturally valuable urban areas and conversion of other urban areas.

  • Refurbishment of apartments established in buildings that previously served other purposes.

  • Urban environments, such as squares, parks and facilities and gable decorations, signage and furnishings.

 

Bauhaus #itsalldesign

Designmuseum Danmark, Bredgade 68, Copenhagen

A major exhibition has opened at Designmuseum Danmark on the history, the staff and their teaching and the work of the Bauhaus school of architecture and design.

This reassessment was conceived by Vitra Design Museum and Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn to mark 100 years since the opening of the Bauhaus.

review to follow

the exhibition continues until 1 December 2019

Designmuseum Danmark

 

SPACE10 Redesigned

 

Last night was the opening of the redesigned interior of SPACE10 - the Research and Design Lab in the Meat Market district of the city.

They now have a new street-level gallery space and café area - a Test Kitchen that has been developed with Depanneur - and office space on the first floor has been rearranged so the work areas can be reconfigured for an increase from 10 to 30 people now working here.

Spacon & X have designed the area "not to last but to adapt" with a strong steel framework with panels that can be inserted as required, in part to reduce noise, for work pods.

With this project, SPACE10 and Spacon & X have reassessed how people work in flexible common space with the aim to boost "innovation, wellbeing and morale."

 

The opening was also an opportunity to launch SolarVille

 

SPACE10 Redesigned
Spacon & X

major restoration at the National Bank of Denmark

 

It has just been announced that the building of the National Bank of Denmark in the centre of Copenhagen - designed by Arne Jacobsen and completed in 1978 - has to undergo an extensive programme of repairs. As this will take several years, the bank and it's staff are to move out of the building until the works are completed.

 

Nansensgade 57

 

This plot on Nansensgade - a street a few blocks out from Nørreport - has been empty since the late 1980s … simply a gap in the street frontage with a garden behind a fence.

The new building here was designed by Christensen & Co and completed last summer.

Built by the city social services, the apartments are for vulnerable young people and are used as a staging post to give them help and support before they move on to more independent lives.

It is a narrow plot, so the entrance door is set off to one side - leaving space for one shop on the ground floor and the staircase is at the back, turned to run up across the garden side. On the floors above, the apartments are arranged to follow the well-established Copenhagen form with two apartments at each level, one to the right and one to the left, with the pattern broken at the top floor where there is a ninth apartments on one side and a roof terrace to the other.

To the street the façade has a checkerboard pattern of plain copper panels that step forward boldly to give privacy to the balconies of each apartment and narrow windows in the sides give views up and down this lively street.

My career has been spent working on historic architecture and conservation but that does mean that I can't appreciate good modern architecture even if, as here in a good street of good buildings with a distinct character, it seems to break many of the conventions.

Breaking rules or breaking conventions or, as here, breaking forward of the regular line of the facades along the street, is fine if it's done knowingly. Rules and conventions should not be broken just for the sake of it but here it clearly adds a dynamic to the street frontage and the choice of material and the colour is spot on.

Christensen & Co

 

lighting the square at Christiansborg

Back at the end of November, there was a short post about extensive work across Slotsplads - the public square in front of Christiansborg - the parliament building in the centre of Copenhagen.

The main reason for remodelling this large and important public space was to bring some order to the area where, as a temporary security measure to thwart attacks with vehicles, a line of rough boulders had been set out in an arc on the outer edge of the square. The boulders have been replaced with large granite spheres and new setts were laid across the whole area. Security barriers were in place that drop down into the ground for access to the front of the building but work was ongoing - particularly along the canal in front of the square where new paving has been laid and a line of new trees have been planted.

Plans for this work showed the old lights but in a new arrangement in a straight line across the facade. There were electric cables in place with a rough gap in the cobbles where each light was to go but, given the time of year, there was a line of large Christmas trees here across the front of the building and all strung with fairy lights.

Now, with the new year, the Christmas trees have gone and the new lights have been installed in a straight line across the front, regularly-spaced and just out from a line of shallow steps. Ornate historic iron lamps are set on simple grey, marble bases and the effect is good … ordered and appropriate in a down-played but monumental sort of way.

shopping in Jægersborggade

 

 

In the middle of December The Guardian newspaper published an article that listed ten "cool shopping districts around the world". These were "readers tips" so not exactly a methodical survey but nevertheless interesting. Included in the list was Jægersborggade in Copenhagen.

 read more

 

select any image to open in slide show

 

Langeliniepavillonen / The Langelinie Pavilion

approaching the pavilion on the path along the edge of the defences of Kastellet

Langeliniepavillonen from the south east

 
 

drawing for the pavilion designed by Jørn Utzon and a digital simulation of the pavilion for the exhibition Jørn Utzon - Horisont now at the Danish Architecture Center

 If you did a headcount - even if it would be for a rather odd census - then it's possible that the Pavilion on the Langelinie Promenade is seen but ignored by more tourists than any other prominent building in Copenhagen and simply because they are intent in their route march there and their route march back to see Den Lille Havfrue - the Little Mermaid - on the foreshore just beyond the pavilion.

However, the pavilion has an odd and complicated and fascinating history that should be better known … particularly as, but not just because, this year is the 60th anniversary year of the present building.

Langeliniepavillonen is on the site of a water gate on the outer defences of Kastellet … the 17th-century fortress that guarded the approach to the harbour from the sound from the north.

By the late 19th century, although there was still a garrison in Kastellet, the main defences had been established further out at Charlottenlund, some 6 kilometres to the north beyond Hellerup, and this thin strip of land between the sound and the outer water-filled defence of the fortress was used by the worthy citizens of Copenhagen as a promenade. The first pavilion here, built in 1885, was designed by Vilhelm Dahlerup for Dansk Forening for Lystsejlads (the Danish organisation for boating) but that was replaced in 1902 by a pavilion designed by Fritz Koch that included facilities for Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub (the royal Danish yacht club).

This was a popular destination for citizens just beyond gardens with sculptures and a walk could continue on to the long wide promenade along the sea side of the Langlelinie Kaj that had been built at the beginning of the 20th century as the outer quay of the new Free Port.

The pavilion was shelled and destroyed by the Germans in 1944 and it was not until 1954 that a competition was held to design a new pavilion. The chosen design was by Eva and Nils Koppel and the new pavilion was completed by 1958.

It is a slightly strange building … or at least it is strange for the location … starkly modern and of its period, so much closer in style and details of glazing and fittings to the contemporary design of the SAS Hotel by Arne Jacobsen than it was to the ornate pavilion it replaced that had polygonal end towers and ornate domes.

LP_SoMe_Historisk_18.jpg

There were large dining rooms in a huge low square box raised up and cantilevered out on all four sides over a lower floor containing the entrance and service rooms. A service road cuts under the sea side but with the room above connecting across to a terrace and the promenade walk. These public rooms had huge windows that look out over the sea or look across the outer water and banks of the defences of Kastellet.

A photograph of the dining room taken in 1959 shows the large lamps - the Koglen or Artichoke lamp designed for this building by Poul Henningsen.

The current exhibition at the Danish Architecture Centre on the work of Jørn Utzon has a model and a reconstruction of the design that Utzon submitted for the competition for a new pavilion. He proposed an amazing pagoda with outer walls of glass and the floors springing out from a central stem with staircases and lifts.

Surely his design has to be one of the most intriguing and spectacular buildings of unbuilt Copenhagen … those buildings for the city that did not get beyond the architects drawings.

SHARING - an exhibition to celebrate completion of work on the entrance court of Designmuseum Danmark

 

Major work on the entrance courtyard of the deign museum in Copenhagen has just been completed.

The gate piers and ironwork across the street frontage of the 18th-century courtyard have been rebuilt; cobbles across the area relaid; the entrance and ticket area for the museum has been moved out to a pavilion on one side of the courtyard along with a small coffee shop.

Five free-standing display cabinets have been constructed so that objects from the collection can be brought out from the museum to the forecourt and the first exhibition in this revitalised space has opened.

For the first exhibition here on the entrance courtyard, new design is now being shown under the title SHARING. An information panel explains the ideas behind this major project and is quoted here in full ……. 

The works in these five new display cases on the entrance courtyard are ….

CLAYDIES
Ceramics by Karen Kjældgård-Larsen and Tine Broksø

KASPER KJELDGAARD
Dele al familien / Parts of the family 2018

MARGRETHE ODGAARD
Blå red violet / Blue Red Violet textile by Kvadrat

KIBISI / BIOMEGA Bjarke Ingels, Jens Martin Skibsted, Lars Holme Larsen
Elcykel / E-bike OKO Night Glow 2017

ASTRID KROGH
En firkant af universet / A Square of the Universe 2018 LED

L1310953.jpg
 
 

ELEMENTAL at Louisiana

 
 

A dramatic exhibition and one of a series at Louisiana under an overall title Arkitekturens Værksteder / Architecture Workshops - ELEMENTAL profiles the work and the approach to architecture of the office in Santiago of Alejandro Aravena.

The process of design is here a main focus of the exhibition that begins with a display of sketch books - a primary stage in their design process. With excellent visuals, on small screens around the edge of the display, you can select a sketch book and explore the contents by swiping through the pages that include both notes and detailed drawings.

In conjunction with this are films running across three large images on a nearby wall that turn through sketchbooks page by page. 

The design process for this exhibition space - from initial ideas through to the construction of the final display - was treated like a specific design project by ELEMENTAL to explain their work process and philosophy. A series of large panels on a lower level of the galleries trace through the whole development of the exhibition from the first letter from Louisiana proposing the exhibition through to the construction in the space. It is rare, as a visitor to an exhibition, to be able to track in such detail the work involved in producing an exhibition on this scale and of this complexity.

There are separate areas with photographs forming a time line for projects and models showing the primary volumes and forms of major buildings. There is a sequence of photographs and drawings of the now famous social housing - half fitted out in the initial construction and half to be completed by the families at a later stage and a sequence of prototypes showing the development of the design of Silla Chair - an open source design. Under a huge suspended box, there is a film of the projects from a drone.

 

ELEMENTAL opened on 11 October 2018 and continues until 28 February 2019
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Fortællinger om et sted / Stories of a place

Arkitektens fotokonkurrence 2018 / The Architect's Photo Contest 2018

Following a competition by the association of architects, this exhibition shows the five winning portfolios, each with five photographs of a building or a single architectural project.

In a World that seems to be dominated by superficial Instagram images this is an important exhibition because instead of a quick glance and a swipe right the photographs are presented for careful consideration.

It is difficult to capture, for the record, the qualities and the character of a building in a few images and one function of these photographs is to slow down the process of looking. These photographs are about trying to record what is essential about the style and the form and the materials and the setting of a building.

read more


the exhibition was open as part of the Day of Architecture on 1 October but continues through to the 26 October

Arkitektforeningen
Åbenrå 34
1124 Copenhagen K

Boliger til Folket / Housing for the people

 

Immediately after the War there was clearly a shortage of housing but also cities realised that poorly-built housing - particularly the dark and tightly-packed housing that had been built in courtyards - had to be demolished and replaced with appropriate homes of a much higher standard

The exhibitions at Arkitektforeningen for the Day of Architecture is an opportunity to see here again the exhibition Boliger til Folket / Housing for the people about social housing in Denmark after the Second World War, so through the1940s and 1950s.

This was shown first in Copenhagen in the central library in March 2017 and was reviewed here

This is a second chance if you missed the exhibition the first time round but it is well worth a second look with profiles of several major housing schemes and includes comments by residents from interviews some remembering what the apartments were like when they were new. 

One aim of the exhibition was to re-establish the merits of these apartment blocks by focusing on the quality of the design and the high quality of the initial building work but it also emphasises the reasons for good and sympathetic restoration work to ensure that these buildings not only survive but that they have an ongoing role as good and desirable housing.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art at 60

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

The entrance to the museum is through a 19th-century house - a private villa built in 1855 for Alexander Brun (1814-1893) that was set back on the east side of the coast road from Copenhagen to Helsingør - just north of Humlebæk - with extensive gardens looking out over the sound. 

It is said that the new museum was called Louisiana - because all three of the wives of Alexander Brun were named Louise - and the name was kept when the villa was purchased in 1955 by Knud W Jensen - a businessman, writer and patron of the arts who founded the new museum.

New buildings were designed by Vilhelm Wohlert and Jørgen Bo with covered and glazed corridors that link three large, well-lit gallery spaces to the house and together form an arc around the north side of the main lawn.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art opened in 1958.

the original house from the gardens (top)

plan of the house with the villa cross hatched and showing the low ranges of service buildings forming a forecourt
the first new buildings were a series of corridors stepping down gradually to follow a ridge between a lake or inlet to the west and the beach and sea to the east and retaining both the large lawn and mature trees

Vilhelm Wohlert and Jørgen Bo photographed in 1958 standing in front of a brick wall that formed the side of what was initially the library - this is the side of the building that faces away from the sea and is now an area of terrace alongside the museum restaurant

the view out over the sound from the terrace of the museum restaurant (below) shows how important the landscape and the garden setting are for the museum

 

LETH & GORI - The Art of Building

 

One of the series of exhibitions of the Dreyers Arkitektur Galleri to show the work of new or young architects, architectural practices and studios.

For this exhibition the architects have produced a timber-framed structure that steps down three levels of the gallery and creates distinct partly- enclosed spaces where models and photographs of their buildings are displayed.

Dreyers Arkitektur Galleri at DAC

Leth & Gori


the exhibition continues at the Danish Architecture Centre until 5 October 2018

 

Practice Futures

 

A major exhibition, Practice Futures, has opened at KADK - the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation.

The full title of the exhibition is Technology in Architecture, Practice Future, Building Design for a New Material Age, and this is an import examination of that area, if you see it in terms of a Venn Diagram, where the disciplines or professional expertise of architecture, engineering, techniques of construction and the development and the technology of materials meet and overlap.

Fifteen research projects are presented here from international PhD students working in six major European research departments and working with fourteen established partners including major architectural practices, engineering companies and construction companies.

These ongoing studies are reassessing well-established materials such as timber and concrete and rediscovering or reassessing or developing techniques to shape, bend, finish and join materials to achieve new forms of construction such as large scale, computer-controlled extrusion or printing and the development of new materials for large-scale building projects. 

This is about new tools and new approaches for reassessing traditional materials and established craft techniques but also about using computers to assess complex information; to solve unconventional design problems and to control systems for constructing new forms and new types of building. 

Projects presented here are prototypes to demonstrate customised solutions to realise challenging new construction projects that not only have to take into account the need for high energy conservation but also have to tackle rapidly-developing problems or social pressures from population growth, and, as a direct consequence, find new solutions to the demands of cities that are growing at an unprecedented speed. This is construction design trying to deal with political and economic constraints and with the added and pressing demands of global climate change.

KADK Udstillingen og Festsalen
Danneskiold-Samsøes Allé 51-53
1435 København K

the exhibition continues until 7 December 2018

 

umsicht regards sguardi 17 - SIA at Design Werck

 

An exhibition has opened at Design Werck in Copenhagen to show major engineering and design projects that were selected for their annual award in 2017 by SIA … the Schweizerischer Ingenieur- und Architektenverein or the Swiss association of engineers and architects.

“The SIA invited architects, engineers, public authorities, companies, investors, and private and public developers to submit projects covering schemes of any size. Each project was then judged on the design’s response to its environment and on the way it applied solutions that would meet users’ needs in an exemplary or novel way.”

Six projects received awards and two others were given honourable mentions for their pioneering roles in designing evolutionary living spaces and their contribution to the sustainability of Switzerland’s built environment

Photographs are by Beat Schweizer and films are by Marc Schwartz.


The exhibition continues at Design WERCK until 7 October 2018

 

restoration II - the forecourt of the design museum

 

Work continues at Designmuseum Danmark where the entrance gates, railings and stone piers along the street are being rebuilt and the setts of the forecourt relaid to form a new ramp to replace the steps up to the front entrance door and to install lighting and so on for new outdoor exhibition cases. 

The project - designed by the architectural practice COBE - includes a new ticket area, book shop and new cafe in the lower part of the old pharmacy … that’s the pavilion to the right of the forecourt.

 

As new blocks of stone have been brought to the site and set up, the work is an opportunity to see some of the details of 18th-century stone masons’ techniques that have been replicated … so it is possible to see the way bold mouldings are cut across large blocks to form plinths and caps to the piers.

The large ashlar blocks of the stone piers and the blocks that form the moulded bases and caps are dressed back with strong vertical tooling which contributes a distinct surface texture and gives a darker tone to the architectural details. Note how at each end of the ironwork screen the outer piers are not butted against the brickwork of the pavilions but are set into them which would suggest that the brickwork and stonework were built up at the same time … not one built against the other.

top left - the door into the former pharmacy of the hospital which will be the access to a new arrival space with ticket desk, book shop and new cafe. Note the silhouette in the brickwork of the ball finial and moulded cap of the stone pier that has been dismantled.

top centre - an iron pintel, set into the stonework of the pier, that will hold the strap of the lower hinge of the gate

 

Heavy spiked or barbed railings and the ornate iron gates are held in sockets cut into the blocks.

At this stage the gates are back on site but are on pallets so it is possible to see the robust quality of the iron work and to see how the straps of the gate hinges form a loop that will be dropped over hefty iron ‘pintels’ set into the stonework. 

This major project has also been an opportunity to repair some of the stonework on the entrance front of the main building and it is interesting to see around the doorway that although the stone frame or architrave of the door looks hefty or robust, it is, in fact, made up with relatively thin slips of stone with pieces forming the moulded front and separate pieces forming the reveal or jamb running back to the door frame and the brickwork behind is surprisingly crude.

 
 

restoration I

Work is progressing on a major project to restore the famous Nyboder houses in Copenhagen. These long terraced rows, with cobbled streets and narrow yards between the rows, cover a large block in the north-east part of the historic centre of the city within the old city defences  … so south and west of Kastellet - the fortress or citadel - and close to Østerport railway station that is on the site of the old east gate.

The first of the rows were built in the 1630s and 1640s at the instigation of Christian IV for naval personnel and were single storey but with attic rooms. More rows - the two-storey terraces - were constructed in the middle of the 18th century and the last houses, in grey brick, date from the very end of the 19th century.

The houses from the 17th and 18th centuries were built in pale-yellow brick but given an external wash of lime with deep ochre pigment but this wash has just been removed so the brickwork can be repaired and, where necessary, repointed.

Stripped of this ochre wash, the facades reveal important archaeological evidence to show clearly how window and door openings were constructed. There were no obvious lintels but lines of headers above the windows so, almost certainly, the timber frame of the floor structure would have been set out to take the weight and outward thrust of the roof to prevent the outer walls bowing out or the ground-floor openings failing under the weight of the brickwork and roof above. 

In contrast, more precise coursing in historic brickwork can be seen in a house on Wilders  Plads in Christianshavn with alternate rows of different colours of brick so that brickwork was clearly built to be exposed and left without render. The Nyboder brickwork is not of the same quality so the houses must have been covered and protected with was of lime and pigment from the start.

It is also clear that by using lime wash - rather than a thicker and smooth coat of render - the final surface is not just more resilient - as each thin layer is applied, the lime oxidises and bonds to the stone or brick it covers - but the visible and slightly irregular brickwork gives a texture to the surface that seems to make the colour deeper … modern brickwork, in contrast, seems mechanical and flat or, if anything, dull.

more images and historic map of Nyboder

Copenhagen Contemporary

Copenhagen Contemporary is an independent institution for modern art.

From June 2016 they ran a pilot project in the warehouses on Papirøen - Paper Island - in the centre of the harbour just south of the opera house - where CC took over four of the halls and were there until the end of 2017 when the buildings were returned to the developers for demolition and for work to start on new apartment buildings on the site.

Now, with funding from the city and from private organisations, Copenhagen Contemporary have reopened in a larger space - some 7,000 m2 - in what was the welding hall of the shipyard of Burmeister & Wain.

The ship yards were closed back in the 1990s and for the last two decades the area has been taken over by small workshops and boat repair yards. A yacht repair company, the restaurant Amass and La Banchina - a popular cafe and bar - established new businesses out here and this summer they have been joined by the new food market - many of the stalls also relocating from Papirøen - and there will be more artists' studios and craft workshops opening as more of the buildings are adapted.

Copenhagen Contemporary has a lease here for 10 years and they have ambitious plans to establish a new space for the display of modern art in the city and particularly for large-scale installation and performance art. 

The city is gaining a major new venue on the lines of the galleries in Gateshead and the Turbine Hall at the Tate in London or the galleries at MoMA in New York and the programme here should compliment exhibitions of modern art at the established galleries in Copenhagen with Den Frie, GLStrand, the space of the Kunsthal in the former church of Sankt Nicolaj and the galleries of the Royal Academy at Charlottenborg - all in the centre of the city or close to the centre - and the gallery down the coast at Arken and, of course, Louisiana - north of the city with its amazing location on the shore of the Sound.

Work on the building for the gallery on Refshaleøen has kept many of the features from its industrial use with huge sliding doors, high exposed roof structures and high-set windows that flood the space with light and give views out to nearby workshops.

In the next phase of development, space on the upper level will be opened for CC Studio for their proposed education programme.

 

previous posts on danish design review

Copenhagen Contemporary

Copenhagen Contemporary
Refshalevej 173a
1432 København K