new metro hoardings

 

Around the city, the final stages of work on the new metro line means that the high hoardings around the engineering works for new stations have come down and work on new paving and hard landscaping has started but the extension of the metro out to the south harbour is not due to open until 2024. 

New hoardings have gone up around the site of the new station at Enghave Brygge and the paintings, in 12 sections on the theme of Evolution, are pretty amazing extending for nearly 500 metres … said to be the longest continuous graffiti in Europe.

The artists are Ulrik Schiødt, Peter Skensved, Michael Wisniewski og Caligr Oner står bag rekordmaleriet med deltagelse fra graffitikunstnerne Balstrøm, Welin, Sabe, Crema, Tonek, Toms, Name, Debs, Code, More, Then, Dae og Even.

 

the harbour sauna

The year is moving through fast … the winter sauna is now set up and open at the harbour swimming pool at Islands Brygge.

MONO - Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling / the Cabinetmakers’ Autumn Exhibition

 

This year the venue for Snedkernes Efterårsudstilling / the Cabinetmakers’ Autumn exhibition is the Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen and the theme is Mono … each work will be restricted to just one colour with the choice of colour limited to either the natural colour of the material itself or to one of the strong and distinctive colours used in the original decorative schemes of rooms in the museum.

The works are also restricted in size to a maximum foot print 90cm by 90cm although the height is limited only by the height of spaces within the museum.

Below is publicity material published earlier in the year with the call for submissions to be considered by the exhibition selection committee. 

MONO - ’furniture with a maker’s touch’ opens on 2nd November 2018

 

MONO - a piece of furniture with a craftsman’s understanding
For Mono, this year's SE exhibition, furniture will be created that demonstrates an engagement and passion for shape, colour and material. Furniture that individually and together expresses quality but also a rhythmic, narrative and simple whole.

With MONO we want to create an exhibition consisting of single-coloured / MONOchrome furniture, furniture that emphasises the individual designer's personal message / MONOlog, and this in conjunction with Thorvaldsenś MONOlithic sculptures and Bindesbøll’s beautiful building

Background:
There are two strong personalities that emerge when you say Thorvaldsens Museum. Bertel Thorvaldsen, to whom the museum was built and whose works it contains and Michael Gottlieb Bindesbøll who is the architect of the building. Both of them, through their work, represent great craft knowledge and a pursuit of the perfect. In addition, Thorvaldsen and Bindesbøll were incredibly adept at using the past in a new and modern way, Thorvaldsen through his new interpretations of ancient history and Bindesbøll through his personal way of using inspiration from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

This year's theme invites:
That the craftsmanship is challenged, perhaps through a new interpretation of the Danish furniture tradition.

That the inner "furniture thread" comes into play, preferably by combining new and old technology. Like Thorvaldsen and Bindesbøll, we strive for the perfect.

That through the materials, the form and the colour, the aesthetic and ethical presence of the furniture is reconsidered.

The goal is for newly thought-out furniture that expresses craftsmanship but also creates a narrative and simple exhibition in interaction with the two great masters.

Requirements for dimensions, materials and colours:
The furniture must have a maximum of 90x90 cm in the floor. The height is free but the furniture must be able to stand everywhere in the museum.

The furniture must be monochrome (one colour) and this can be either the wood's own colour or one of the colours from Thorvaldsen’s museum:

 
 

Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design

 


 This is the second major exhibition at the new Danish Architecture Centre and covers both the early life of Ove Arup and then the major projects around the World of the design and engineering company that he founded in London in 1946. There are profiles of the major engineering projects they have completed including the Sydney Opera House and the Pompidou Centre in Paris with models, drawings, films, interviews and historic photographs.

The story is continued through to current projects including work by the Arup Sound Lab. Arup were the consultant engineers for the road and rail bridge over the sound between Copenhagen and Malmö and for the design and construction of the new building for the Danish Architecture Centre.

  

Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design continues until 17 February 2019
at the Danish Architecture Centre in Copenhagen

WE architecture at Dreyers Arkitektur Galleri

 

"The name WE Architecture is based on the philosophy that architecture is not the result of only one person's stroke of genius" … but  "believe that the best results occur through teamwork and transdisciplinary networks."

 

Jagtvej 69

WE architecture was established in Copenhagen in 2009 by Marc Jay and Julie Schmidt-Nielsen.

Much of their work takes, as a starting point, an exploration of how people and the community respond to and use architecture … what they describe as understanding how physical surroundings "inspire people to create new relationships or to cultivate existing relationships" … exploring the "potential for innovating the framework of communities."

This raises interesting questions because it implies that there can be an enlightened and well-defined relationship of trust between the architect and the end user as well as with the commissioning client. This is not the place to discuss the issue of politics and economics in social architecture, in the broadest sense, in Denmark but possibly a place to raise this important subject.

One project, shown here through a number of models, is a new and ongoing development for Jagtvej 69 in the Nørrebro district of Copenhagen with temporary housing for homeless people and community gardens. This is now an empty plot but was the site of a community centre, Ungdomshuset, which was cleared and demolished in 2007 precipitating street riots … cobbles thrown in the riots are one of 30 objects chosen for an exhibition at the National Museum - Din Ting - to represent key events or movements of the first years of this century. This is precisely what makes Danish architecture so important … designs that responds to the changing needs of society with an awareness of and a sensitivity to broader political issues.

Certainly, looking at the work of the studio over the last ten years it is good to see that so much of their work is in housing, education and culture and all these projects have a strong relationship with their landscape or townscape setting. Models - so massing of elements and overall form - are clearly important as different options for sites are explored through making many models at the initial stages.

The Dreyers gallery has three main levels alongside a steep staircase down from the main exhibition area and WE Architecture have exploited this by stacking up timber boxes to break down the sudden transition from each level to the next. This provides platforms and surfaces for displaying models and photographs of the projects undertaken by the team but they have also incorporated work stations where, for the period of the exhibition, staff will work but are available to discuss their buildings and answer questions.

WE architecture 

the exhibition continues until 2 November
in the Dreyers Arkitektur Galleri at the Danish Architecture Centre

 

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

OUT at Statens Museum for Kunst

 

An exhibition of work by the German artist Judith Hopf who is based in Berlin.

In part this work is about how we perceive space - how an artist can organise and manipulate space - and how we respond to space.

And it is also about materials and scale.

The main work, that you see as you enter the gallery, is a diagonal line of three Pears in brick and on a monumental scale - the largest is just under a metre high. That line is reinforced by a low brick wall cutting across the gallery at an angle. 

Untitled (Laptop Men) in polished sheet metal are identifiable as figures holding a laptop and leaning back against the gallery wall but are also like a pictogram but on a life-sized scale.

Suspended around a large video display are curtains hung from the ceiling but stopping short of the floor so you have to duck under the curtain to enter the space to see the video but your legs, from the knee down, seem to become part of the work.

OUT - the video that gives the exhibition its name - shows a high narrow block in front of the open courtyard of an apartment building with distinct features including sun shades over the balconies but, as you watch, the tall block is raised up revealing legs, again from the knees down, showing it is in fact a costume worn by a person and it is our preconceptions and clever perspective and manipulation of perspective that deceives us into seeing it as a building.

As the scene develops there is a short length of hedge on wheels and a young boy playing a full set of drums in what looks like the courtyard of an apartment building.

 

 

the exhibition continues until 30 December 2018
in X-rummet / the X room at Statens Museum for Kunst

Oak Tree - an exhibition of work by Tina Astrup

 

 Tina Astrup graduated as a textile designer from the Danish Design School but also completed a post-graduate degree in furniture and spatial design.

Inspired by the timber and the colours seen in a local saw mill, where oak was stacked and seasoned, the work shown here is a project that has evolved over four years. She takes large disks of timber - sections of tree trunk - or substantial wedges of oak and baulks of wood and enhances both the pattern of the natural grain that mark the growth of the tree but her process seems also to echo mechanical cuts and saw marks that show how a tree is felled and the trunk cut into planks.

She uses vinegar poured over the timber that has been wound tightly with wire … a process that brings out tannins in the timber and creates slashes of dark colour in a way that echoes the effect when textiles are tie dyed.

 
 
 

This changes the character of the oak to make it darker both in terms of colour and in the sense of being much more dramatic.

We tend to see oak now only after it has been worked - so finely cut and planed and smoothed and pale - and see oak as the ideal wood for wide, hard-wearing floor boards or for strong finely-made furniture.

Along with beech and ash, pale or almost white oak is still a hall-mark if not the hall-mark wood for the modern Scandinavian interior. Through the classic period of modern furniture design, the English even talked about ‘light oak furniture’ to distinguish the look they wanted from the ‘dark’ oak of 19th-century and earlier furniture that was regarded as old fashioned or unfashionable.

But oak trees, in the wood or the forest, can be twisted and gnarled - powerful and impressive - and even disturbing.

The cuts and marks on these pieces by Tina Astrup reconnects us with what is, after all, the force - the almost aggressive force - of chopping down a large tree and cutting it into planks and should take us a step back from the product to the natural material and to the way we work with timber to see new possibilities in how designers could work with and use oak in very different ways.

 

Kunsthåndværkere & Designere
Tina Astrup

the exhibition continues until 28 October 2018
at Officinet - the gallery of Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere - Bredgade 66, Copenhagen

 

Flexibility

A small exhibition - described as a pop-up exhibition - has just opened at Designmuseum Danmark.

With the subtitle The Missing Link in Danish Typography History, it spotlights the new font called Flexibility that was introduced last year as part of an updating of the typography and graphics used for the museum and is to be used across all aspects of their graphic design from posters to signage and display graphics, as the font for the museum's website and for in-house leaflets for publicity. This work was undertaken by the Copenhagen studio Urgent. Agency.

As part of the commission they searched through the archives of the museum and found initial sketches for this font that dated from the beginning of the 1960s and were by Naur Klint - the architect and designer who was the son of Kaare Klint. The designs were digitized and this was the starting point to produce a font appropriate for the museum.

With the exhibition there is a handout newspaper that sets out a good brief history of the design museum and also sets out the iterations of the typeface with various weights and an italic and an outline version.

The exhibition continues from 5 October through to 6 January 2019

Designmuseum Danmark
Urgent.Agency

Recycle in Christianshavn

 

Two new recycle stations have been installed in Christianshavn on the quayside of the canal along Overgaden Neden Vandet. They take paper, plastic waste and metal in separate bins with your rubbish going in through clearly-labelled slots on the side away from the canal. These are sited to help people living in smaller and older apartment buildings nearby where there is not the space to have the large plastic recycling bins found in the courtyards of larger buildings.

Both are relatively tall and long but narrow and with rounded ends. One, nearly opposite Sofiegade, has metal cladding in a dull deep red and has an extended bench at one end, with an open circle cut out at the centre for a round table and the other, close to Bådsmandsstræde, is the same shape but is longer, with an additional bin to separate out paper and cardboard, and is covered with vertical strips of dark stained timber. It also has a bench at one end although here there is no table but, across the opposite end to the bench, this waste station has a curved cupboard with shelves inside that hold books for a book loan / book exchange scheme.

After depositing your rubbish, you can sit and watch what is going on along the canal or you can pick out a book to read. The only instruction for the books is a notice that suggests that it is a bit selfish to take away more than two books a day.

The waste stations are designed to take standard bins inside - both 660 litre and 240 litre bins - and the length can be shortened or extended to take fewer or more bins as appropriate for different sites.

These recycle stations along the canal are here for a trial period to assess how much they are used and to get the views of local people. They are certainly a good alternative to the large plastic recycle bins on streets nearby although one local woman, who saw me taking photographs, told me she thought the design was heavy and ugly. This seemed to be mainly because now, when she comes out of her apartment, she no longer has a clear view across the canal and down the street opposite and, I have to admit, it was a very nice view. Her own theory was that people in the planning department hated long open views down streets and wanted to close everything down into smaller spaces. Sort of the opposite to Haussmann?

Two design practices from Copenhagen - Platant and Krilove Architects - cooperated on the project.

Platant
Krilov Architects

 

Nytt Rom 66

This is described as The Contradiction Issue and is "all about not being biased."

Homes profiled include summerhouses in South Sjælland and near Stavanger and several apartments of very different styles. It was interesting to see just how many homes featured have imaginative solutions for what is essentially storage on display.

Short reviews of furniture and product include furniture by Karimoku and Norm, a kettle from Vipp, the Blister Bowl from Matias Moellenbach and the reissue by Menu of the Knitting Chair by Ib Kofod-Larsen from 1951.

There is a short notice with a couple of photographs of the courtyard space of the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm that will reopen on the 13th of this month after being closed to the public for several years for major restoration.

Nytt Rom

the rain is coming - Heimdalsgade

In 2015, an exhibition at the Danish Architecture Centre - The Rain is Coming - set out the repercussions for the city from major changes in climate.

One obvious problem, already experienced in the city, is that sudden and heavy rain storms overwhelm the drainage system, so streets are inundated with water, traffic is severely disrupted, property damaged and drains and sewers broken or polluted water surges out into the Sound.

Since that exhibition, several extensive drainage and landscape schemes have been completed to cope with these sudden rain storms and the most recent is in Heimdalsgade in the city district of Nørrebro where innovative climate tiles for paving have been installed.

Design work was by Tredje Natur … an architectural and design studio founded in 2012 by Flemming Rafn Thomsen and Ole Schrøder with offices nearby. They undertook extensive research and development for the project over three years that was supported by funds from Realdania and Markedsmodningsfondenover.

Their new system manages both surface water and rain water from the roofs of the buildings along the street by taking it down through holes in the paving slabs and into a series of vertical and horizontal pipes, below the pavement, that control and direct rain water either to temporary storage before it is released in a controlled way into the drains or it is diverted into areas of planting.

Plugs within the pipes can change the configuration but can also transmit data for water management … controlling flow or in winter detecting that pavements have been salted so water cannot be directed to irrigation. These schemes have to protect sewers and stop contaminated surface water polluting water in streams, lakes or the Sound.

These plugs can also be adapted as sockets that take street furniture such as signs, lights and plant boxes.

Work was undertaken to coincided with work to replace pipework for the area heating system so it minimised extra road works and disruption.

The new climate paving can be seen along Heimdalsgade for 50 metres from the end furthest from Tagensvej … so at the corner with Overskæringen, outside the café at Heimdalsgade 22. With a new area of planting taken out into the road, this has meant a new if narrow but shielded public space that has already been colonised with tables and chairs from the cafe.

Tredje Natur

 
 

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.

KULTUR NATTEN 2018

This year Kultur Natten or Night of Culture is on Friday 12 October.

It is the evening in Copenhagen when museums, many government departments, theatres and the opera house, city hall, the royal palaces and many many other organisations and institutions open their doors to show the people of the city what they do and how.

There are demonstrations, special exhibitions and people only too happy to explain what is done and why. And there is street food and music at many of the venues.

I say it every year but that does not make it less worth saying … spend some time looking at the programme before the evening and try to plan a route to cut down the time you are doubling back or dashing between places but just accept that it really is impossible to see everything. Enjoy the night.

Kultur Natten programme

KAFETERIA - Statens Museum for Kunst

 

The restaurant at Statens Museum for Kunst has been moved up a floor and to the front of the building and renamed so Kafeteria is now immediately to your right as you come through the entrance doors.

Food is by the chef Frederik Bille Brahe (also behind Atelier September, Apollo Bar and Kantine in Copenhagen) and the furniture is eclectic but works remarkably well and, at the very least, it is very different with the hefty main chairs and tables designed by Enzo Mari from 1974 but combined with classic Danish chairs by Poul Volther and stools and coat stands by Nanna Ditzel.

The scheme was designed with the artist Danh Vo and includes statues from the Royal Cast Collection and large Arkari lamps by Noguchi.

Kafeteria
Statens Museum for Kunst
Sølvgade
1307 København K

 

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

Out of Ousia - Alicja Kwade

 

Through six large gallery spaces at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, this is the first solo exhibition in Denmark to show the work of Alicja Kwade. ‘Ousia’ is Greek and means being or essence.

One large-scale work in the first gallery, DrehMoment, with large stone spheres balanced on a frame was created in 2018 specifically for Charlottenborg.

the exhibition continues until 17 February 2019

Kunsthal Charlottenborg

Alicja Kwade at Louisiana

 

Louisiana has a new work in the Sculpture Park - pars pro toto by the Polish / German artist Alicja Kwade with eight spheres carved in rock from different parts of the world.

There is an interview with the artist on Louisiana Channel

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