Louisiana Museum of Modern Art at 60

This year is 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 was called Louisiana - because all three of the wives of Alexander Brun were called Louise - and the name was kept when the villa was purchased in 1955 by Knud W Jensen - the 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 linking three large, well-lit gallery spaces that form an arc around the north side of the main lawn and 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 that faces away from the sea but is now the main area of 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

 

Louisiana Jubilæum 1958 / 2018 - the chair and the lamp designed by Vilhelm Wohlert

To mark the sixty years since the Modern Art Museum at Louisiana opened, the Louisiana Chair and the Louisiana Lamp have been re-released.

Both were designed by Vilhelm Wohlert who, with Jørgen Bo, was the architect for the museum and the chair and the pendant lamp can be seen in the museum restaurant that has been refurnished for the anniversary.

Louisiana Butik

 
  1. the Louisiana Chair displayed with the tall bar stools in the Butik at Louisiana

  2. the Louisiana Lamp in the Butik

  3. the chairs designed by Vilhelm Wohlert in the museum restaurant

  4. the taller stools with back rest in the museum restaurant

 

CHART Architecture - the Pavilions

FRAME
designed by Malte Harrig, Karsten Bjerre and Katrine Hoff

 

In the two large courtyards of Kunsthal Charlottenborg are five pavilions … the setting for what is called CHART SOCIAL.

These pavilions or CHART ARCHITECTURE are the winning designs from an open competition held earlier in the year for young architects and architecture and design students.

 

 

OPEN RESOURCE
by Dennis Andersson, Mikkel Roesdahl and Xan Browne

THE MANY CHAIRS PAVILION
by Sofia Luna Steenholdt, Joachim Makholm Michelsen, Emil Bruun Meyer and Casper Philip Ebbesen

TIGHT KNIT
designed by Jan Sienkiewicz

SUM OF US: A CLOUD OF HUMAN EMOTION
designed by Sean Lyon in collaboration with Space 10

 

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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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.

 

previous posts on danish design review

Copenhagen Contemporary

Copenhagen Contemporary
Refshalevej 173a
1432 København K

 
 
 

Refshaleøen - what's where + what's on

 

There are good sign boards at Refshaleøen - one with a map showing the location of the main food stalls and the main buildings - including the new gallery space for Copenhagen Contemporary - and the other with the dates of main events here through the coming summer

maybe click / download / save / zoom ?

or information on line at REFFEN

 

if you like to eat your food straight out of the container .....

 

Popular food stalls that were in the warehouse on Papirøen - Paper Island - are back but on a new site further north - out on Refshaleøen - the island that until the 1990s was the yards of the ship builder Burmeister & Wain.

Called Reffen, the first phase is an open area with the kitchens and food stalls in shipping containers grouped around a new square and running down a short street towards the water of the harbour. The next phase will be more food stalls but inside in a hall in a former workshop.

There is open space that will be used for events and the newly reopened gallery of Copenhagen Contemporary is in massive former workshops just to the east.

Get here by taking the harbour ferry or a 9A bus that runs out here frequently from the central train station - this is the last stop where it turns round and heads back so you can't get lost - or you could always come out to Refshaleøen by bike.

There is a short description of each of the food stalls online on the Reffen site along with information about opening times and details about events.

Reffen

 

select any image to open the photos as a slide show

 

Kultur Tårnet a year on

22 June 2018

 

Since 1620, there has been a bridge at the centre of Copenhagen harbour. Knippelsbro was constructed to link the old city to what was, in the 17th century, a new and prosperous settlement of Christianshavn that was being built on land claimed from the sea and - from a new south gate of the city - there was a way across and on to the island of Amager.

Over the centuries the bridge was rebuilt several times but these all crossed the harbour at the level of the quay so there was restricted headroom for boat traffic to pass through unless the bridge was opened. This became a problem in the early 20th century as the wharves and quays south of the bridge dealt with more and more goods so more and larger commercial shipping was coming through the harbour and as the number of people use the bridge to cross backwards and forwards increased with the building of large new apartments blocks along Islands Brygge and south of Christianshavn with new housing in Amagerbro and then in Sundby.

A new bridge - the present Knippelsbro - was constructed and opened in 1937 designed by Kaj Gottlob. This has a much higher deck level - with long ramps up on either side to take road traffic up and over the harbour and more shipping could pass through without opening the bridge - the current harbour ferries pass under the bridge without it having to open. There were two copper-clad towers - with that to the north for the main control room for opening and closing the centre span and a south tower contained sleeping accommodation for the bridge master and his men.

From the 1940s and through the 1950s and 1960s, the docks to the south of the bridge prospered with commercial quays extending down on both sides - so the bridge must have been manned throughout the day and the night - but with the decline and then the shutting of commercial wharves on the inner harbour, the number of times the bridge was opened each day declined and the south tower became redundant and was left empty and unused.

Lars Erik Lyndgaard Schmidt and Malthe Merrild saw the waste of abandoning such a prominent historic monument and came up with possible ways of using the building.

Last year, after several years of them putting considerable pressure on the city and after opening for a trial period to see if there was sufficient public interest … there was … and after extensive restoration work, the tower was opened to the public.

It is now an amazing viewing platform from where you can see up and down the harbour but more than that it's a very unusual venue for events; a very unusual place that can be hired for business meetings during the day and, despite the tight space, it's a venue for gastronomic events and concerts.

Today marks the first anniversary for Kultur Tårnet. Congratulations.

 

Kultur Tårnet

the IRMA hen

Irma Chicken.jpeg
 

 

the famous roof-top neon sign of the egg-laying hen was installed in 1936 to advertise the supermarket IRMA .... the Schepler family opened their first store selling eggs, milk and butter in 1886 at Ravnsborggade 13 a block back from the lake ... but the sign was dismantled around a year ago for the roof to be rebuilt and for building work on a new or remodelled attic apartment

the sign is back and its return will be celebrated by a special festival on Saturday 26th May starting at 4pm with, appropriately, an egg and spoon race around the lake

upcoming work on the forecourt and entrance to Designmuseum Danmark

Work will start in May on some major changes at the design museum with plans for the alterations by COBE … the Copenhagen architecture and planning studio. 

The museum is in an important 18th-century building that was a hospital. A cobbled forecourt with iron gates and imposing stone gate piers along the street is flanked by detached pavilions that were part of the original construction - the pavilion to the right being the hospital pharmacy - but these are not currently used by the design museum for the public.

The main building faces you as you enter the courtyard and the entrance is in the centre of the front, emphasised by a pediment. Through the door there is an outer hall flanked by staircases and with access to cloakrooms on either side and then there is an inner hall, directly opposite the entrance, with the ticket desk and information, in a relatively small square space overlooking a large internal green courtyard beyond. The museum shop is at the left-hand angle of the building currently in three rooms but also with storage space. 

The ticket desk and the museum shop will be moved into the forecourt level of that right-hand pavilion so visitors will have to do a hard turn to the right as they come in through the gateway from the street into the forecourt … not difficult but then not obvious … and then, after passing through the shop and a new cafe, they will have to leave the pavilion and cut back to the centre of the main front, crossing the back of the forecourt, to enter the museum by the present door. 

One obvious advantage will be that people will be able to visit the shop without having to buy a ticket and it will free up important space in the building for exhibitions and the display of more objects from the permanent collection.

This being Copenhagen, better provision has to be made for bikes for the number of visitors who arrive on two wheels so there will be a new set of bike racks between the pharmacy pavilion and the main front of the building, tucked away behind the new cafe ... most visitors seem to leave their bikes in the forecourt. 

photograph and drawing from COBE

 

Certainly, the forecourt comes alive during major events at the museum - like the night of culture in October when there were braziers and displays out here - so, in effect, to move the museum out to welcome the visitor in, COBE have proposed that there will be several purpose-built display cabinets outside and the cobbles of the forecourt will be relaid - presumably to smooth out the fairly uneven surface there now - and there will be tables and chairs here for the new cafe. 

The stone steps up to the main entrance will be removed and replaced with a long ramp for access … to replace a ‘temporary’  metal ramp there now that sits over the stone steps.

I admire the work by COBE enormously but here do have some reservations. The building has a symmetry that is a strong part of its character and a certain severity, because it was a hospital, that again is important as a deliberate and original contrast with the exuberance and decoration of many of the 18th-century palaces and grand houses in the adjoining streets.

Kaare Klint, when he oversaw the conversion of the building, to make the hospital into a museum, carefully and deliberately respected that symmetry. It was almost an obsession … the pair of staircases in the front range and the pair of staircases on the opposite side of the building might be taken to be original but were designed by Klint. Also Klint was meticulous about his choice of colours and finish … everything in the building is of a high quality and everything is properly made but it is always restrained and always stays on the right side so can never be described as mechanical … Klint pursued quality and craftsmanship but not perfection for its own sake and that gives even the plasterwork - or the cobbles - a warmth and a texture that is nowhere mechanical or cold.

That is why, perhaps, the the cobbles or setts of the forecourt should not be too regular and do the placement of large outside display cases and new trees in the forecourt possibly distract from the design of the front?

the existing stone steps up to the entrance of the design museum and the even grander stone steps at Amalienborg to show how these worked in terms of architectural rules and conventions in the 18th century and the bull-nosed moulding and the decorative tooling on the stonework are essential and typical features of 18th-century work

 

on the opposite side of the museum, Klint created an entrance for deliveries into the main courtyard and this was treated like carriage arches in the city with steps omitted and the cobbles running right up to the door

 

Sunday of the recent Easter weekend. It shows just how busy the museum is and actually this is not a sign of an over-slow ticket system ... the museum was overwhelmed and for a short time had to slow down access to let new visitors in only as people left. While I was there no one in the queue complained and no one coming into the forecourt turned away on seeing the queue so that's quite some endorsement of the reputation, success and popularity of the museum 

Obviously the ramp up to the door is understandable but again there is a subtle point to be made about the original architecture. The carefully-designed and well-made stone steps up to the doorway have two functions … first to give that sense of entering - so a deliberate and important transition from outside to inside - but also the dark line of the stone has a visual role … perhaps rather subtle but it is a use of correct architectural grammar absolutely appropriate to this classical building … the horizontal line of the darker stone of the steps is almost like a punctuation mark or an underlining of the door. Take that away and it weakens the composition of the facade.

Look around the streets here and you can see how carefully architects and masons designed and made entrance steps. This does does not and cannot trump the right that visitors have for direct and easy access to the museum so one solution would be to pull the stonework of the steps forward, to create a level apron or landing in front of the door - there are good classical precedents for such a design - and then take the ramps in cobbles or stone down each side. That might even work better with the new approach line from the left-hand door of the pharmacy building where people will move from the ticket desk area to the museum itself.

Kengo Kuma to design the new aquatic centre in Copenhagen 

kengo-kuma-waterfront-cultural-centre-dezeen-2364-hero.jpg
 

10 April 2018

It has just been announced that the Japanese studio of Kengo Kuma will design the new aquatic centre on Christiansholm … the island at the centre of the harbour in Copenhagen that is generally known as Papirøen / Paper Island because the Danish press stored newsprint in the warehouses here. The most recent use has been for popular food halls, a gallery for modern art, various design studios and quite a lot of covered car parking.

The key feature of the new building will be high brick pyramids - to follow the overall scheme for the island from COBE - but the swimming pool at the main level is to have glass on all sides for panoramic views and there will be a terraced walkway and shallow pools stepping down and forward towards the harbour.

Reffen / The Reef

 

On Papirøen - Paper Island - immediately south of the Opera House and opposite the national theatre - the popular food hall and the large gallery space of Copenhagen Contemporary closed at the beginning of the year because all the buildings here are about to be demolished for redevelopment of the area with plans for the construction of large new apartment buildings and a swimming pool.

However, a larger and much more ambitious version of the Papirøen food halls are set to open further out at Refshaleøen … an island at the north end of the harbour that was formerly the site of the B&W shipyards and engineering works and perhaps famous recently as being the venue for the Eurovision Song Contest.

The plan for Reffen is to attract here not just the sellers of gourmet food who were so successful on Papirøen but for this to also be a venue for cultural events and to attract crafts people and design people to not just sell out here but to have their workshops here. There will be a strong emphasis to reduce and reuse - to use local produce to reduce transport and of course recycle or reuse … so there will be a strong environmental agenda.

"The hope is thus to create a new place in Copenhagen that with a sustainable point of departure is a melting pot of amazing experiences that attract and inspire both locals and tourists - a place that can be seen, tasted, heard and felt both locally and internationally."

It will cover a large area - around 10,000 square metres - much larger than the Paper Island warehouses - and they are talking about leases for 10 years so this should become a well-established destination for both people from the city and for tourists.

Plans show three areas … a large market place, a covered hall in old machine shops and an open area  for events on the city side of the huge hall where music events and so on are held.

Refshaleøen is at the end of the harbour ferry line and through the summer there will be direct boat links from Nyhavn - the ferry terminal by the Playhouse - and tourists boats will also come out here … and of course you can get here by bike.

BLOX ... progress

 

Shuttering and fencing are now down from the city side of the building and everything looks as if it is moving fast towards the opening in May.

With the completion and the opening of BLOX imminent, it is worth subscribing to the news updates.

It was recently announced that staff are to start moving across from the Danish Architecture Centre - from their current building in a warehouse on the other side of the harbour - and that the restaurant / café are to be run by the Meyer company. The sections of the new bridge over the harbour are now being assembled off site but will be moved here in the summer for the bridge to be completed and opened in the Autumn. Work on the intermediate piers is finished and they are capped off and the metal barriers marking the channel for boat traffic and there to protect the piers have been installed.

 

L1250383.jpg
 

CPH Light Festival 2018

 
 

 

CPH Light Festival is running through February, with Frost Festival 18, with sound and light installations around the city.

The Wave, by Mikkel Meyer and Jonas Fehr, has returned for a second winter at Ofelia Plads on the harbour immediately north of the National Theatre and on the other side of the harbour to the Opera House.

There are forty triangles, each 4 metres high, set in line along the mole. The light responds to the movement of people as they walk down through the triangles and the haunting sound carries across the harbour to the park beside the Opera House.

 

The Wave, Ofelia Plads, Copenhagen 4 February and 25th March

programme of the installations for CPH LIGHT FESTIVAL

it's all downhill from here

 

SLA have published plans and drawings for the ski slope and the planting that are to be added in the final stages of the building works for Amager Bakke - the new incinerator and waste processing plant in Copenhagen designed by Bjarke Ingels. The plant is now up and running but still without the promised smoke rings.

 

View of the incinerator at night taken in December ... the ski run might not look that daunting in plan but that's not a bad angle. If you don't ski, there will be steps and a pathway for walking (or maybe that should be climbing) up to a cafe at the top which will have pretty amazing views over city and out over the Øresund.

SLA Copenhagen

 

Proposals for Dokøen - the area around the Opera House

The Opera House from the north west

 
 

Designed by Henning Larsen Architects and completed in 2005, the Opera House dominates the central harbour in Copenhagen … in part because, obviously, it is a very very large building but the scale is exaggerated by the open areas to either side with lawn to the south - over an area about 140 metres by 140 metres - and on the north side an even larger space 160 metres by 160 metres that is now mostly car park but divided by a dock running back from the harbour and with a historic brick pumping house that dates from the 19th century along with massive gantries of two harbour cranes that were kept when this part of the dock was cleared.

 

The original scheme included large apartment buildings that were to have flanked the Opera House but with the onset of the economic recession that phase of the development was put on hold. 

New proposals, under discussion, are to proceed with building the apartments planned for the north side of the Opera House around the dock - retaining the cranes and the pump house - but for the area to the south the new plan is to construct a large underground car park and then reinstate the area of grass for a new park with landscaping. 

It has been suggested that the quay facing across towards the harbour - facing towards Ofelia Plads but now set back and at an angle - could be pulled forward to line up with the edge of Papirøen to the south. Would that be a gain? It might make the harbour too regular - too much like a wide canal - and there is another potential ‘loss’ because any development and even more dense planting will in part hide and will reduce the visual impact and impressive scale of the two long historic blocks along the canal to the east that were warehouses but are now converted into homes.

Kultur Natten ... reporting back

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Kulturtårnet on the bridge - Knippelsbro

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

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

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

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

The Department of Industry

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