BIG Art at Kunsthal Charlottenborg

 

An impressive and entertaining exhibition at Kunsthal Charlottenborg with large-scale works created by artists working with the architectural studio of BIG and primarily for major new buildings or for public spaces.

Each work has a video presentation by Bjarke Ingels and this confirms that he is one of the most articulate proponents of modern architecture and planning.

the exhibition continues until 13 January 2019

Kunsthal Charlottenborg

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.

 
 

a travesty

 

 

The Stelling Building on Gammeltorv in Copenhagen has new tenants with a new 7ELEVEN store on the ground floor. 

On a prominent site on a major historic square and on the route up to the cathedral, this building was commissioned by the Stelling Paint Company and was designed by Arne Jacobsen and completed in 1937. It was one of the first truly modern buildings in the centre of the city.

Obviously, for its present use, there are new fittings inside for food, take-away coffee and snacks but the most recent additions have been corporate shop signs on the outside.

There is a hefty new banner or long horizontal sign in the company branding that wraps around the corner above the shop windows and it projects forward of the facade because it is back lit. There are also two large, double-sided, illuminated square signs that project out from the frontage - one to Gammeltorv and one to the cross street Skindergade.

Look at historic photographs and you can see that the building and its tile cladding was designed with considerable care and with precise proportions and with high-quality and elegantly thin fittings. All in all, a very sophisticated building and yet this company sees it necessary, for commercial reasons, to desecrate the design. 

For a start, just what damage has been done to the historic fabric and the original facing materials when the signs were fixed? In any work, on any major historic building, the rule should be that alterations and additions are not intrusive and should be reversible so could be removed without leaving evidence or causing damage.

The tenants will argue that this work was necessary to ‘attract’ customers but the argument should have been that if the building could not be occupied successfully without doing this then it was not an appropriate building for their use.

The design of the Stelling Building was innovative and even controversial at the time. The severe style might not make it immediately obvious that this is a major historic building and, even now, it might not appeal to all tastes but those are not good reasons for allowing this to happen. 

It is a significant failure of the planning process in the city when this happens to such an important building by such an iconic Danish architect.

 

an earlier post about the Stelling Building

 

Frederiksberg Allé

 
Freds Alley.jpg

Recently, it was announced that Frederiksberg Allé is to be given special protection with a policy to retain its present character with controls on hard landscaping and planting but also to allow appropriate interventions to enhance the urban landscape.

The Allé is a fascinating street with a clear history and a wider importance - an international significance - as it represents a distinct and important phase of planning in the city.

It was laid out in 1704 and runs west from Vesterbro to the main entrance to the park and gardens of the royal palace of Frederiksberg. Maps from the 18th century show the road as a broad tree-lined avenue with open fields on either side but, even then, the circle or circus of Sankt Thomas Plads is obvious and there was a large open space at the west end, at the gates to the gardens of the palace.

The avenue is now famous for the double lines of lime trees that are pruned to a candelabra shape.

There is a wide central road with the double avenue of trees on each side, each with a broad pavement down the centre between the trees, and then secondary or service roads, outside the lines of trees, with wide pavements immediately in front of the buildings. From Sankt Thomas Plads to the gates into the palace gardens is just over a kilometre and the avenue from building front to building front is around 40 metres wide.

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the Copenhagen bench

 

Does anyone know just how many park benches there are in Copenhagen? When was the first bench made with cast iron legs and wooden planks? Was there a Copenhagen iron bench foundry?

They get repainted at regular intervals so my guess is that someone in city hall knows how much green paint the city gets through every year.

My favourite benches are the circular benches that usually go around a tree and there is no pretence … these are there and these are designed for sitting a while to people watch.

Europe's most densely populated square kilometres - mapped

Back in the Spring, at the end of March, The Guardian published an article about "overstretched cities."

With the results from data compiled by Professor Alasdair Rae of the University of Sheffield, they produced a list of the 15 cities in Europe with the most densely populated areas within a single square kilometre. Curiously, London only managed to get into the list at 15 with a part of west London that has 20,477 people living within a single square kilometre. Top of the list was Barcelona with one block of a square kilometre that houses 53,119 people.

What was surprising was that Denmark had a place in the list at all but it was the area that is so densely packed with people that it made the list that is even more surprising. In at number eleven, with 22,381 people living within a block a kilometre across, was part of Frederiksberg immediately west of the centre of the city in Copenhagen.

The word being much used in the Danish press at the moment, in discussions about poor-quality housing in areas with problems, is ghetto but then this part of Frederiksberg is far far from being a ghetto. In fact, just the opposite. For young middle-class families in the city, the place to aspire to is this densely-packed area of apartment buildings.

What is even more important to understand, in terms of planning, is that this is an area of older apartment blocks dating from the late 19th and early 20th century, most of five or six floors, set around squares and streets with only one high-rise building and that is an office building and not apartments.

If there is a lesson for planners it has to be that density of occupation is not necessarily bad and certainly the solution is not that the only way is up.

Frederiksberg from air.jpeg
 
 

owning the streets

 

As soon as the sun comes out, people in Copenhagen move outside and stake a claim to the streets. It doesn't have to be warm … just light. It's not that Danish homes are so awful that people can't stay in … just the opposite … but in Copenhagen there is plenty of evidence that this is not a modern idea. Historic paintings and drawings show citizens strolling along the pathways on top of the city defences or promenading on the squares … so walking and talking rather than actually going somewhere … and there is still a tradition to walk around the top of the embankments of the 17th-century fortress in the Spring or stroll along Langeliniekaj. It's said that the citizens only agreed to the  construction of the Free Port - which blocked the walk along the foreshore - if the quay was constructed with open access for a Sunday afternoon stroll.

The use of the public space of the street can be much more active so there is play equipment for children on many squares and streets and permanent fitted exercise equipment for people out for a jog who want to do more than just run.

Of course tables are moved out onto the pavements outside cafes and there are benches everywhere … most painted the special colour used in the city called Copenhagen Green.

This is hardly unique but in Copenhagen you can see a clear reason why this use of public space became so important: Copenhagen was surrounded by substantial defensive ramparts that enclosed a relatively small area and until about 1870 there was little construction allowed outside the gates to keep sight lines open in case of attack or a siege. As the population grew so space was limited and even many of the  courtyards had houses built in them so the only space available, for any sort of leisure, were the squares, streets or even the churchyards … even now the large graveyards around the city are a very popular and very pleasant place to stroll with family or friends.

Copenhagen is an amazing place to live for so many reasons but, if I had to cut the list right down to one, then it would be that for a densely built up city there is remarkably little vandalism ... people use and live in and own and share the public space so much more than in any city I have lived in before but, taking ownership of the street, people treat public space, their public space, with respect. 

 

 

 

street life - some needing stamina - some needing less energy

 

Sønder Boulevard then and now ... around 1900 and on a bright but cool day in early Spring 2018 above and immediately below

 
L1270517.jpg
 

the hoardings have come down along Sønder Boulevard

The new line of the metro in Copenhagen will open in 2019. Much of the main engineering work on the surface has been completed and the high green hoardings that surrounded all the main sites are now coming down.

From the city hall square and the central railway station, the new line heading out to the west follows the line of Sønder Boulevard across the north side of the meat markets and on down to Enghave. The hoardings came down in the Spring and work started on new hard landscaping and planting new trees.

Immediately, people from the neighbourhood, from the densely built apartment blocks here, reclaimed the public space.

Sønder Boulevard was actually the line of the railway in the late 19th century as it curved in from the west from Roskilde to a railway station just south of the present main building and the line followed closely what was then the shore of the bay.

The railway line was moved first to come into the city further north cutting across the lakes and then it was moved again to its present alignment across the south side of the meat markets. As the shore line was pushed out further and further into the bay, with new land claimed from the sea for first a gas works and then for the meat market, the old line became a street, Sønder Boulevard, with apartment buildings on both sides. It is a wide street with grass down the centre but through the last century it was a main route for traffic coming into the city.

The traffic lanes on each side have been reduced in width and this is no longer a main route so the centre area has basketball courts, play equipment, seating areas and imaginative planting to create a linear park that from Halmtorvet at the city end to Enghavevej and then across that road on towards Carlsberg is not far short of 2 kilometres.

the Boulevard while the engineering works for the new metro line were in progress - the edge of the meat market is at the top right and the distinctive tower of the church on Dannesbrogsgade towards the bottom right

1 - At the city end of Sønder Boulevard the landscaping of the street starts with paving and an area of water at Halmtorvet with an open area of gravel used for markets and then curved areas of stone steps and seating ... the meat market is on the right
2 - the Boulevard has shops and cafes and where cross streets meet the Boulevard at an angle there are paved areas - triangular rather than square - with cafes with pavement seating
3 - cross streets are a meeting place
4 - even in April, because the hoardings had come down,  people came out to sit in the sun - the sun was low but bright but not yet that warm ... the reason for the combination of coats and sun glasses ... looking towards the centre of the city with the tower of city hall in the distance

 

in the 1870s the railway line followed the shore with only gas works on land built out into the bay and that is where the meat market is now .....
the lakes, Tivoli and the line of Vesterbrogade are easily recognised reference points

Den Hvide Kødby / The White Meat City …. Local Plan Report 562

 

 

At the end of June a local plan - number 562 - was published by the city for Den Hvide Kødby /  the White Meat City district of Copenhagen. 

This is the west part of a large area of market buildings and slaughter houses that developed here from 1879 onwards when the meat market was moved from a site further north, closer to the lakes.

The market, sometimes referred to now as the Meat District, is west of the present central railway station and immediately south of a long open public space called Halmtorvet that continues on west into Sønder Boulevard and forms the north boundary of the site. 

Den Brune Kødby, the Brown Meat market, was the first part of the market to be built and is in brick. The buildings to its west - sometimes referred to as Den Grå Kødby or the Grey Market and included in this plan - were extensive additions to the market from around 1900 in grey or white brick and Den Hvide Kødby or White Meat City - primarily low and mainly flat-roofed buildings in concrete with white facades was a large addition to the meat market dating from the 1930s. 

In part because these are essentially industrial buildings but also because of the clean simple outlines with no decoration, then, in terms of style, this part of the market built in the 1930s is generally described as an important example of Functionalist architecture.

Note that the popular reference to the east part as the Brown Meat market only emerged after the construction of the additions of the 1930s - to distinguish the different parts the names refer to the colour of the buildings and not to the colour of the meat.

The area is owned by the city and this is certainly important for the long-term conservation of this area and for appropriate controls on detrimental development .

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Østergro in Østerbro

 

 

In fact, the current work on Tåsinge Plads and Sankt Kjelds Plads are not the first projects to bring large areas of plants and greenery right into the centre of Østerbro - a densely built up area of large apartment buildings, offices and small businesses out to the north of the centre of the city.

If you look on Google Earth, you can see that most of the apartment buildings have large enclosed courtyards with gardens and many with play equipment for children but also if you look just north of Sankt Kjelds Plads - the large round-a-bout almost at the centre - then immediately to the west of Fitness World, the long rectangle of green along the east side of Abeløgade is not alongside the pavement but four floors up on the roof of a former garage. This is Østergro … a large garden for vegetables and flowers produced here by a local association.

They have a restaurant up here and they teach children and visitors about food production … too many city dwellers have little or no idea where their food comes from and what is involved in growing vegetables and herbs. There was never a suggestion that this could make the area self sufficient for food but it's a good start.

Østergro

 

Sankt Kjelds Plads

Sankt Kjelds Plads looking south from Æbeløgade and the view up Bryggervangen towards the Plads with the new areas for planting under construction in July 2018

new storm drains going in along the road edge (above)
drawing from SLA showing the extent of the scheme from Sankt Kjelds Plads and north and south along Bryggervangen  (below)

Less than 100 metres from Tåsinge Plads is Sankt Kjelds Plads - a second phase of work for new drain systems with hard landscaping and appropriate planting to cope with the inundation of water from rain storms. 

Here there is a large traffic intersection with Bryggervangen running through from north east to south west and three other roads - Nygårdsvej from the east, Æbeløgade from the north west and Sejrøgade from the south west - meeting at a large space that was until recently laid out as a large traffic round-a-bout.

A new scheme with holding tanks for rainwater, new storm drains and a series of water features and extensive planting have been designed by SLA.

New areas of paving and traffic calming with new marked bays to control car parking is well in hand.

It is not just the road intersection that will have new planting but the long diagonal run of Bryggervangen is part of the work and this will form a new green corridor from a small lake and open ground several blocks to the north at Kildevældssøen and continuing south towards the open space of Fælledparken.

A local store has a window covered with a huge illustration of the finished scheme.

 

Tåsinge Plads three years on

 

There was a post here about Tåsinge Plads back in 2015 along with a review of an exhibition called The Rains are Coming that was at the Danish Architecture Centre and was about how the city is dealing with climate change and the problems from sudden and torrential rain storms flooding streets and squares as drainage systems fail to cope.

Then, the main engineering work had been completed with new drains around the square to take surface water and water running off the roofs of the buildings and low holding tanks had been constructed. It seemed like time to go back to photograph the area now that the trees and shrubs are well established.

 

THE FIRST CLIMATE RESILIENT DISTRICT IN THE CITY
the pierced domes are drain covers for the deep and wide new drainage channels below
there are two sunken areas planted with appropriate water plants that are holding tanks for storm water to stop it overwhelming the drains and at the west end is a raised mound
bridges and passageways across the square are in Corten
paving drops down in shallow steps to channel surface water and excess water is taken down into holding tanks
rain from the side streets is contaminated by surface dirt and traffic pollution so is dealt with separately in 'swales' that replaced the street gutters with ditches and plants and with filters below

 

It is interesting to see how the square used by people living in nearby apartments.  On-street parking for cars has been either removed or rationalised - so in neighbouring streets cars park now on just one side, usually the side in the shade, and park front on to the kerb rather than parallel with the pavement.

On the square itself, the road along one side has been paved over and the local café has moved tables and chairs out onto the square. People were sunbathing on the new raised slopes of the hillock at the west end and one local lady was using a wood sculpture as a place to sit and read her newspaper in the shade on a hot day.

balconies being fitted earlier in the summer and the finished work with large new balconies to the apartments looking south and looking down onto the new landscaping of the square

 

The apartment building across the north side has new balconies fitted across the frontage so people can sit in the sun and look down on the square.

This has been a very dry and untypical summer so it was not possible to watch the rain umbrellas and the channels through the water gardens actually doing what they are supposed to do … that just means another visit sometime soon when it is raining hard.

The landscape and drainage solutions were designed by GHB Landskabsarkitekter.

a new metro station at Trianglen

gravel area at the entrance to Fælled Park ... hoardings have been taken down but there is now a wire fence around the excavations and remaining equipment of the engineers for work to complete the new metro station here ... the park is to the left and Trianglen immediately to the right ... the post office building to the left was designed by Thorvald Jørgensen and completed in 1922 and Østre Power Station, on the far side of Øster Allé, was designed by Ludvig Fenger and Ludvig Clausen and built in 1902

 
 

 

The main engineering works for the new metro station at Trianglen are finished and the high hoardings around the site have been taken down so once more it’s possible to appreciate the size of the open space here at the south-east corner of Fælledparken / Fælled Park.

A local plan for this major work was adopted in 2011 and published in 2012 … one of 14 local plans drafted for the 14 new metro stations that are to be built in the city with the construction of the new metro line.

In the introduction to the report it was stressed that the "layout of the station space must be in interaction with neighbouring areas around Øster Allé and Fælledparken."

This was an important policy because the space, in front of the main entrance into the park, acts as an area of transition from the busy area of Trianglen itself to the open green space and the trees of the park but this area of gravel has also been used in the past as an open space for various events such as markets so no new buildings were proposed apart from the concrete steps down into the station and necessary vents and roof lights and these, along with spaces for parking for bikes, have been kept to the two outer sides along Blegdamsvej and Øster Allé and will be screened by being set within double lines of trees. 

The steps down into the metro station fit rationally with the main directions from which people will approach the station or their main destinations as they leave … so steps at the corner, on the axis of the entrance to the park, are angled towards Trianglen; steps just inset from Blegdamsvej will be used by passengers heading to or coming from the Red Cross building, the Masonic Hall or, further on, the hospital and the east steps will serve people going to the post office or heading up Øster Allé towards the football stadium. 

 

These outer edges of the space will have hard paving - traditional Copenhagen setts or cobbles - but the central area will be returned to a level gravel surface. The planting of trees reinforces the simple symmetry of the layout of the space but also acts as a visual barrier between the open gravel-covered space and the road traffic beyond.

Improvements are not restricted to the area immediately around the metro station for there will also be new planting of trees and changes to the hard landscaping at this south end of Øster Allé and along Blegdamsvej that, with planting and improved paving, is rapidly becoming one of the most attractive of the boulevards in the city.

photograph and drawing from Metroselskabet

Trianglen in Østerbro

 

 

Trianglen is a busy triangle-shaped public space in the district of Østerbro - so north of the lakes and immediately to the east of the new metro station that will take the same name. 

This is where two main roads in the city cross at an angle rather than at 90 degrees and it illustrates well how a dynamic townscape evolves over what is often centuries through a combination of factors including, of course, topography but also military and strategic history, wider patterns of roads and transport - so where people are travelling to or from either away from the city or within the city - and inevitably ownership and property boundaries and, in many cases, the direct involvement of a monarch, a city council and - from the 20th century onwards - planning authorities and transport companies. 

Oh … and as much as anything it’s often about the way people use a space or even how they cut across corners that ends up fixed in the position and line of roads, pavements and buildings.

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Bien at Trianglen

Trianglen Bien.jpg
 
 

 

This is one of the more extraordinary buildings in Copenhagen. 

It is at the east end of Trianglen on the traffic island and was a tram car stop with a kiosk; a room for a traffic controller and public toilets and with benches not only in the recessed spaces on the east and west sides but also around the outside where people could sit if they had to wait for trams at this busy interchange.

The architect was PV Jensen-Klint and it was commissioned in 1904 by the Østerbro Grundejerforening or Landowners Association to replace a wooden hut on the same site. A number of designs were presented before a final design was approved and the building was completed in 1907.

It has a sort of exuberance and delight in playing with variations of shape and form that is associated with Art Nouveau architecture but here the columns on each side with strong entasis - the bowing out in the middle - and the almost Baroque elements with curved shaped heads to windows and doors picked up in the line of glazing bars makes it more robust and strongly architectural than buildings you would find from the same period in Paris or Brussels.

The oval shape of the building and its copper roof meant that it was soon given the nickname of the Super Terrin or Terrinen - it looked like a large soup dish with a lid with the heraldic animals on the top like a knob or handle although they are actually flues for the stoves. The building is also known as Bien or The Bee from the name of the kiosk here at one stage.

 

 

Fælledparken / Fælled Park

 

Between 1908 and 1914, a public park was laid out on a large area of open ground known as Østerfælled … land that was outside the historic city defences and beyond the lakes and that had been been used in part as a bleaching ground and in part by the army and was crossed by important roads that converged at the start of the King’s highway that headed north to Lyngby and on to the castle at Frederiksborg. 

An irregular shape, the large area is contained within main roads with Østerbrogade to the east, Blegdamsvej to the south and Tagensvej and Nørre Allé to the west but with large buildings encroaching on the area across the south side, including the Masons’ Hall and the headquarters of the Red Cross, along  with a main hospital, Rigshospitalet, at the south-west corner.  

Despite the encroachment of buildings around the edge, the open area is large … running back well over a kilometre from Blegdamsvej and is over a kilometre wide at the widest point. There are lakes, pitches for football, an area laid out with small-scale roads and junctions - Trafiklegepladsen - where children learn to ride bikes and there are playgrounds including Tårnlegepladsen /Tower Park and a large skate park. 

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Fælledparken - the entrance from Trianglen

Entrance Faelled Park.jpeg
 

 

At the corner of Blegdamsvej and Øster Allé is a large area of gravel that is triangular in shape — the site of a major new metro station - and set back, beyond the triangle, is the entrance to Fælledparken.

Established in 1908, the main feature here, on the central axis of the entrance, is a memorial … a large figure group in bronze raised on a high stone base that was installed in 1930 to commemorate the return to Denmark, in an international settlements following the First World War, of land in South Jutland that had been lost to Germany in a war of 1864.

Lettering on the stone base reads:

TIL MINDE OM SONDERJYLLANDS GENFORENING MED MODERLANDET 1920

In memory of South Jutand's reunification with mother country 1920

 

The main figure is a woman who is looking down at an adolescent girl who holds or, rather, she clings to her side, looking up but not at the woman so up and away into the distance at the sky or to the heavens. It is a powerful depiction of a mother embracing or drawing in a child for their protection.

The woman is wearing a loose, finely-pleated costume, that is clearly classical in style, with an outer garment or stola that she is lifting to cover the girl who is naked … nakedness, at least here, implying both innocence and vulnerability.

The sculptor was Axel Poulsen who nearly twenty years later repeated the image of mother and child - a woman holding a dead youth slumped across her lap - for the incredibly powerful stone sculpture for the Mindelund Park in Copenhagen that is a memorial garden for the dead of the Second World War.

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Sansehaven - garden of the senses

As you enter Fælled park from Trianglen, just beyond the monument, there is an area of woodland on the right but as you are drawn forward - towards the light and open space of the park ahead - it would be easy to miss the Sensory Garden in the trees.

In dappled light, in glades among beautiful mature trees, the garden was designed by the landscape architect Helle Nebelong and was created in 1996 when Copenhagen was City of Culture.

With wide, gently-curving, gravel paths and low but distinct boundaries it is laid out to be an easy and a safe place for children to explore even if they have sight impairments or have mobility problems or use a wheelchair. 

Plants are chosen for their distinct shapes and there are herbs for their smell or even their taste but the dense but low planting also shields the garden from the more noisy and boisterous park beyond to make the space feel somehow calm and protective. 

The main features are a gravel-filled canal that runs through the centre of the garden with low bridges over it or stepping stones along it, and gives a distinct Japanese look, and there is a large maze with low walls of wooden posts - some with numbers or letters set near the top so you trace 1 to 9 and then track the alphabet as you follow the posts of the undulating palisade.

In the line of the planting around these features there are small, semi-enclosed spaces where children can discover a giant nose carved in smooth marble or a wooden sculpture like a giant chess piece but with a carved fish and lemons on the top or there are wind chimes or a seat under an arch and several larger features including a hexagonal temple with ornate carved posts supporting a tiled roof. 

It's all very beautiful and the garden is a credit to a park and to a city when they can design and maintain a place that is so magical.

Helle Nebelong

 
 

translation of the park sign:

SANSEHAVEN

Sansehaven is a small garden for children and their adults - a corner of Fælledparken with space for exploring surroundings, feeling nature and discovering all the senses.

1 Hearing
2 Seeing

3 Taste
4 Smells

5 Feel
6 Sixth Sense

A sense garden can be a substitute for nature when the real thing is far away or difficult to get to. Sansehaven was originally made for multi-handicapped children and young people who can enjoy small gardens with many impressions and experiences.

For the sake of children who are visually impaired or use a wheelchair, Sansehaven is therefore arranged with wide paths and clear edges of, among other things, cobblestone, which makes it easy to get around.

Sansehaven in Fælledparken is shaped like a maze with winding paths, and if you are curious, you will discover a garden full of surprises.

Enjoy.

Fælledparken

Tårnlegepladsen / tower playground and Spejlhuset / Mirror House at Fælledparken

 

Play areas for children in the parks and squares in the city are amazing … with imaginative climbing frames, swings and slides and so on that take a huge range of forms and styles. 

Simply from an architecture view point, probably the best is the play area at the south corner of Fælledparken in Østerbro. As part of extensive improvements to the park in 2011 and 2012, the play area was completely redesigned by GHB Landskabarkitekter with the company PlayAlive. 

There are enclosed courts for ball games and a small skateboard area but the really distinctive feature here is play equipment that is modelled on the old towers and domes and spires of the city … so here you can find a version of the dome of the Marble Church, the Round Tower, the spire of the City Hall and the spire of Boursen, the 17th-century exchange down by the harbour.

It’s a great way to introduce even small children to the idea that good architecture can be fun … so the games can go further as a learning process if children begin to recognise and name buildings as they go around the city.

There was an existing park building here when work on the new play area was initiated - a long low building with a pitched roof for park and play equipment and toilets but it went through an absolutely astounding transformation with design work by the architectural practice MLRP. The long side walls and the roof were clad with heat-treated or smoke-blackened timber planks but it is the end walls that really fascinate children - and come to that adults - as the gables and also some of the doors on their inside faces were covered with polished steel that acts like a distorting mirror. 

Fun and stylish .... this is modern Danish design at its very best.

 

Fælledparken

Another play area in the park - Trafiklegepladsen / Traffic House - was also designed by MLRP as an area laid out with small-scale roads and junctions and road crossings and traffic lights where small children learn to ride their bikes before going out onto busy public roads.

 

 

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.

 

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Copenhagen Contemporary

Copenhagen Contemporary
Refshalevej 173a
1432 København K