Fællesskaber Mellem Murene / Communities Between the Walls

 

 

This exhibition is on the three levels of the staircase gallery at the Danish Architecture Centre and is about art projects that have been used to bring about positive changes in vulnerable residential areas.

People living in these large housing schemes can feel marginalised or can be isolated by poverty and many, newly arrived in Denmark, are separated from the support of family or old friends. Becoming involved in art - or merely being given access to something new and something that is special to where they live - can improve day-to-day life or can stimulate a new interest; create a sense of involvement; bring a new sense of pride to an area and can create a sense of ownership and a sense belonging to a place.

Several of the projects give people an opportunity to tell their own story as an individual rather than being simply an anonymous part of a larger statistic about crime or poverty … statistics that quantify and define problems but can only be a starting point for resolving them.

Projects shown here are in Tingbjerg in Copenhagen; Gellerupplaned, to the west of the city centre in Aarhus, and a projects around Blagværd, a northern suburb of Copenhagen, including Kunst Vild in VærebroPark in Gladsaxe. 

Communities Without Walls
continues at Danish Architecture Centre
until 2 June 2019

Tingbjerg housing

Tingbjerg housing scheme was designed by the Danish teacher, writer and architect Steen Eiler Rasmussen and the landscape was designed by C Th Sørensen.

Building work started in 1956 and was completed in 1971 and by then there were 3,000 homes here with most in apartments in blocks that are three storeys high - over half basements containing service rooms - although there is also one tower block and a line of single-storey homes along the west edge of the scheme.

Tingbjerg is out to the north west of the city centre, on relatively high land, close to the moor and lakes of Utterslev, and around 7 kilometres from the city hall. It was planned as a small, self-contained town with shops, a school and a church and at one stage 10,000 people lived here although the number is now below 7,000.

There are long rows of apartments that are set in a regular grid of roads with a main peripheral road and one main cross street running east to west although most of the apartment blocks are set north to south so that they make the most of morning and evening light.

Buildings are laid out around generous squares and large open spaces with a good planting of trees that are now mature and there are a number of areas where children can play. There is also access to what is still and certainly what was in the 1950s areas of open countryside and the high elevation, or at least high for Copenhagen, means that there are views back over the city. Even today, the light seems clearer and the air fresher up here than down in the city and, back in the 1950s, that contrast must have been more marked when there was much more air pollution. Families moving here then must have been positive about being able to move out to a new home in a new suburb.

The site slopes and the rows of apartments are staggered - rather than being in long straight unbroken lines - and the topography has been exploited with terraces and short flights of steps at changes of level that again softens and breaks up the impact of building even though so many homes were built in a single phase and in what is, in essence, a single style.

Constructed in light-coloured brick with dark roofs, workmanship is of a high quality and the design of the buildings is simple but not stark so the style is clean and actually quite elegant. A distinct feature is slatted shutters that slide back from the windows on some buildings. Tingbjerg is a good example of classic Danish design at its best. This was recognised in 1959 when the first phase of the scheme received the Bygningspræmiering / Building Award for New Residential Property.

  

note:

Given the high quality of the design and the construction of the scheme, it is ironic that in the recent government report - Ét Danmark uden parallelsamfund / One Denmark without a parallel society - Tingbjerg is now designated as one of 16 ghettoes in Denmark where serious social problems have been identified and there is now funding with recommendations for intervention.

These photographs were taken in January 2019.

Our Urban Living Room

Cobe don't seem to be architects who would set out any sort of manifesto and certainly not architects to follow any proscriptive formula but the introduction by Dan Stubbergaard for the catalogue of the exhibition of their work at the Danish Architecture Centre in 2016 does introduce their concept of the "Urban Living Room" where people, in a very Danish way, take ownership of public space.

Danes occupy outdoor space - not in the sense that political protestors occupy a building - although that can happen - but occupy in the sense of moving into and making use of space outside. That can be to play or to eat or simply socialise … to sit in the sun and chat.

People in Copenhagen excuse this as their response to the long dark winters of Scandinavia so any sunny spell has to be grabbed as a chance to sit out but the air here is clear and actually there are bright days well into the late Autumn and from early in the New Year - as long as you find ways to cope with the cold - so there is no likelihood of being deprived of vitamin D and it seems more to do with wanting to be outside and more to do with a long and well-established tradition of using outside space for socialising when the city is tightly packed with buildings and, with so many apartments, homes can feel cramped.

With their work on public spaces such as Israels Plads and the public space at street level at Nørreport the Cobe approach to designing good and useable urban landscapes and with good street furniture is fairly clear but it becomes much more interesting where they are also designing the buildings and particularly with their designs for schools where children move between indoor and outdoor space much more through a normal day.

 
 

Danish Design Awards 2019


This design prize is awarded by Design Denmark and the Danish Design Centre in Copenhagen.

The awards go back to 1965 but in this form date from 2000 when the Industrial Design Prize and the Industrial Graphic Design Prize were merged.

Finalists were selected by a jury of 15 at the end of February and the Award Show will be at Dansk Industri / Danish Industry or DI at Industriens Hus on HC Andersens Boulevard - close to the city hall - on 13 May 2019.

 

Categories:

  •  Better Work

  • Better Learning

  • Feel Good

  • Game Changer

  • Healthy Life

  • Liveable City

  • Message Understood

  • Outstanding Service

  • Save Resources

 an interesting post about the judging from Danish Design Awards

all 45 finalists selected for this year

 

Bygningspræmiering / Copenhagen Building Award 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Bauhaus #itsalldesign

Designmuseum Danmark, Bredgade 68, Copenhagen

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

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

review to follow

the exhibition continues until 1 December 2019
Designmuseum Danmark

 

Growing Smart Cities in Denmark

This report from Arup Smart Cities was commissioned by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was published in 2016. It makes important points that should be considered alongside a recent report on updating the Finger Plan and a major report on an initiative for the development of the Copenhagen region. Planning for future urban growth has to factor in new technology and the role of smart data.

Growing Smart Cities gives a brief overview of the approach to digital and smart technologies in the Danish cities of Copenhagen, Aarhus, Vejle, and Albertslund and, for context, brief assessments of developments in smart technologies in other countries.

The report identifies a growing number of companies undertaking research and developing projects but one aim of this report is to find ways for these to be scaled up and to find ways to ensure that they are carried forward.

The approach is two-fold, looking first at growing smart Cities in Denmark - so at digital technology for urban improvement and mentions several times the word liveability - but, for obvious reasons, looks at the financial and investment potential of developing these new technologies in Denmark.

There is encouragement for education to address a potential shortage of people with appropriate digital skills with a need to teach a new generation of students who will be qualified when research departments scale up projects - to take them forward - and to work with business who now have to assess long-term returns from what is often considerable investment.

The conclusion is that "Denmark has an opportunity to become a world leader in smart cities."

read more

smart city data in action …..

 

The 5C bus route through the city provides one good example of the use of smart data in Copenhagen.

New buses were introduced on this major cross-city route last year. These buses cross the city - passing through the major transport hub at Nørreport, stoping at the central railway station and run out to the airport so it is crucial that passengers have reliable and up-to-date information.

Displays at the bus stop show arrival times for buses approaching the stop - an information service already well established on other bus routes - but once on the bus there are side panels that show the next stop and route maps with information about changing to another bus service whose route intersects. Large overhead displays updates to show clearly, for the next stop, times for buses on other routes and, as the bus approaches the central station, there is not just information about the next available train and the time of departure (updated in real time) but also the number of the platform where the train will depart.

Passengers have access to the same data on their phones if they are planning their route ahead and phones, and for passengers travelling with a rejsekort or travel card, an app on a home computer records trip details for reference but also, of course, this data is available for the efficient management of the system.

With the opening of a new circle line of the metro this year and with plans for a light railway, the system will, more than now, allow passengers to swap between different systems and data systems will make this as easy and as reliable as possible.

Yellow at Officinet

An exhibition at Officinet - the gallery in Copenhagen of Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere - to show the works of the Danish artist Torgny Wilcke and the English artist Simon Callery.

Both artists have used the colour yellow for a common element and both use what are essentially functional every-day materials - for Callery heavy canvas and Torgny Wilcke timber and corrugated metal strip for roof covering.

Both work on a large scale with a strong presence in the space and both hint at potential practical uses for their works … the wall pieces by Simon Callery reference storage and the large floor pieces by Torgny Wilcke have been used for seating so they are challenging boundaries between art, craft and design.

Both use proportions to bring order and to assume control of the space in the gallery. 

 

the exhibition continues at Officinet until 24 March 2019
Bredgade 66, Copenhagen

Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere /
Danish Association of Craft and Design


Torgny Wilcke

Simon Callery

 

SPACE10 Redesigned

 

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

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

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

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

 

The opening was also an opportunity to launch SolarVille

 

SPACE10 Redesigned
Spacon & X

SolarVille

 

 

This is a research project by SPACE10 about democratising access to clean energy … exploring ways to bring energy to 1.1 billion people who have little or no access to electricity. Neighbourhood generation could get around high investment costs for centralised energy networks where there is little incentive to innovate.

This miniature neighbourhood in wood has been built to a scale of 1:50 as a working prototype to show how some households could generate their own renewable energy using solar panels and some households would purchase excess electricity directly from the producer using block chain to make a self-sufficient community.

The scheme would include power storage to provide energy at night - now more feasible with the rapid development of batteries - and Blockchain technology could regulate the system for the sale of electricity and payments by verifying and recording transactions.


The project was a collaboration between SPACE10, Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration; WeMoveIdeas India and Blocktech with the model by Tempral and SachsNottveit.

 SolarVille can be seen at SPACE10 until 29 March
SolarVille
SPACE10 

 

SPACE10 have published a related online report
A Brighter Tomorrow


Life Between Buildings


Life Between Buildings - Using Public Space, by Jan Gehl, 1971
first English edition 1987 and new edition in English 2006 and 2011

 

In the introduction to this edition, Jan Gehl explains that Life Between Buildings was published in the 1970s to point out "the shortcomings of the functionalistic architecture and city planning that dominated the period."

"The book asked for concern for the people who were to move about in the spaces between the buildings, it urged for an understanding for the subtle qualities, which throughout the history of human settlements, had been related to the meetings of people in the public spaces, and had pointed to the life between buildings as a dimension of architecture, urban design and city planning to be carefully treated."

Although the first edition was published over 30 years ago, walking around recent developments on Amager and in the South Harbour area and certainly when walking around the redevelopment of the Carlsberg site, it appears that, even now, too often, the observations set out by Jan Gehl have been forgotten or ignored. There are seats and there is planting but too often these seem to be a token scattering of street furniture rather than reflecting a coherent approach for these areas.

 
 

Snaregade and Magstræde

the east end of Snaregade from Gammel Strand (top left) - the building to the left is the courtyard house now used by the Minister of Culture

the warehouse of Sthyr & Kjær rebuilt in 1903 with the frontage 6 metres back from the historic street line

 

 Life Between Buildings 1

Gammel Strand, now in the centre of the historic city, is approximately on the line of the foreshore and the first wharves of the early settlement and would have looked across the short distance to islands where the castle was built.

From the west end, Gammel Strand has the canal along the south side with Borgen, the castle, on the other side. It gradually widens out into what is, in effect, a long triangle and across the end is a large courtyard house, now the ministry of culture, and there are then two blocks between there and Rådhusstræde with the line of the building frontages of Gammel Strand continuing on as the city side of a narrow lane first called Snaregade and then, beyond the cross street Knabrostræde, continuing as Magstræde.

This narrow lane, Snaregade and Magstræde, is just 7 metres wide at the Gammel Strand end and barely wider along the whole length. This is essentially a street with no space, let alone space for Life Between Buildings.

read more

Gråbrødretorv

Life Between Buildings 2

This square in the centre of the historic centre is on the land of a Fransciscan monastery founded in 1238 and closed in the late 16th century when the land was used for houses of various sizes. Most were rebuilt after the fire of 1728.

This is now one of the most picturesque old squares in the city but is a bit of a hidden gem tucked away on the north side of Strøget - The Walking Street - behind Heligaandskirken. It is a triangular space about 70 metres long and just 45 metres wide at the inner end and 20 metres wide at the east end where the narrow end of the square has the street called Niels Hemmingsens Gade runnng across.

Most of the entry points into the space are through alleys or secondary pedestrian spaces off the square such as Kejsergade and the space is covered with setts and is free of vehicles apart from access for deliveries.

read more

map by Christian Gedde showing the square in the middle of the 18th century

 

Israels Plads - Copenhagen's biggest urban carpet

Life Between Buildings 3

In 2016 there was an exhibition - Our Urban Living Room- Learning from Copenhagen - at the Danish Architecture Centre that looked at the work of Dan Stubbegaard and his architectural office COBE established in 2006. In the catalogue, the work by COBE on redesigning the large public square at Israels Plads - completed in 2014 - is described as “Copenhagen's biggest urban carpet” and there is a sketch of the square with the surface drawn like a giant Persian rug with tiny people on it and the corners rucked up.

These corners of the carpet are now the bold steps rising up across the south-east corner of the square and a prominent V-shape of steep steps at the north-west corner of the square that covers an exit ramp from the underground car park below the square.

Israels Plads has new trees in a bold pattern of circular planting and seating areas; courts for sport; play equipment for children; open space for events like flea markets and plenty of areas where people can sit and watch was is happening here.

With this extensive new work, the square is now closely linked to a large and well-used public park immediately to the west and is adjacent to Torvehallerne - very popular food halls - immediately to the east, that opened in 2011. This is all just a block away from the major transport interchange of the station at Nørreport - an area also remodelled by COBE - so within a few years, and with justification, Israels Plads has become one of the most popular and best-used public spaces in the city.

read more

 

Superkilen - a super wedge

Life Between Buildings 4

 

Copenhagen has a number of linear parks of which the largest and most ambitious is Superkilen in the district of Nørrebro just to the north of the city centre. The north section of the park forms a green wedge down from Tagensvej - a major road - and continues through to Nørrebrogade and then, across that main shopping street, the series of parks runs on to link with Nørrebroparken.

Superkilen or Super Wedge follows the route of an old railway that cut through the district which explains the long narrow site with much of it behind buildings. There is a mixture of architecture, including some good industrial buildings that have been adapted to new uses, and some apartment buildings look down on the space but, unlike a square or street, it is not enclosed or defined by building facades. 

In strict architectural terms, the shape of the park seems odd and irregular with space leaking out so the opposite of Skydebanehaven or Shooting Gallery Park in the city that is enclosed by housing so that it is almost like a secret garden or secret playground owned by the community.

However, at Superkilen, if space leaks out, that means that the opposite or reverse is true, so spaces run into the park to draw local people in to make it a strong and important part of everyday life in the neighbourhood.

 

read more

 

How to Build a Good City - Jan Gehl on Louisiana Channel 

 

If you don’t know Copenhagen well, or if you have not come across the work of Jan Gehl and his approach to planning in the city, then a good place to start is with How to Build a Good City - an interview with Gehl that was posted last year on Louisiana Channel.

I have been meaning for some time to post a link here to Louisiana Channel. This is an important and fascinating series of on-line films and long interviews from Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and although, as you would expect, many of the interviews relate directly to exhibitions at the museum or to the works of artists in their collection, the films range widely in their subjects and locations … there are interviews with leading architects and designers, including several with Bjarke Ingels, a series of interviews about the work of Jørn Uttzon and an interview, posted recently, is with Kim Herforth Nielsen of the architectural practice 3XN about their designs for the new Fish Market in Sydney.

 

Louisiana Channel

Copenhagen - most liveable city in Europe

Copenhagen has just been voted top of the top twenty "most liveable" cities in Europe.

The phrase liveable city is slightly awkward both in English and in Danish - it is translated as "mest udholdelige" - but this ranking from ECA International is more relevant than rankings in tourist or visitor guides because this is a consultancy that provides reports and specific information for large international companies to asses relative merits of different cities if they plan to establish a new office or relocate staff so these are assessments about living in a city rather than just visiting a place as a tourist.

These reports look at transport, housing, schools and facilities across wide ranging parameters.

It’s interesting that Stavanger is higher in the ranking than Amsterdam, Basel, Vienna or Stockholm but Oslo is not in the top twenty. Also note that the city of Aarhus is only just outside the top ten.

 
 

ECA International top 20 most liveable cities for European expatriates

1. Copenhagen, Denmark
1. Bern, Switzerland
3. The Hague, Netherlands
3. Geneva, Switzerland
5. Stavanger, Norway
6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
6. Eindhoven, Netherlands
6. Basel, Switzerland
9. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
9. Gothenburg, Sweden
9. Dublin, Ireland
12. Aarhus, Denmark
12. Rotterdam, Netherlands
14. Zurich, Switzerland
15. Bonn, Germany
15. Munich, Germany
17. Vienna, Austria
17. Hamburg, Germany
19. Stockholm, Sweden
19. Edinburgh, United Kingdom

skud på stammen at Design Werck

Barndommens Land designed by Aske Foersom and made by Sara Ruff
En Gyngestol designed by Søren Nissen and made by Kasper Wium Kristiansen and Abia Manzanares
Bord designed by Tine Mouritsen and made by Gunver Lindeskov Søgaard

This week is the last opportunity to see the exhibition at Design Werck in Copenhagen of furniture made by students who are about to graduate as cabinetmakers. The students from next> in Copenhagen worked in partnership with designers and the furniture is made from lime wood from trees felled at the Rødovre City Hall when the main entrance courtyard was replanted.

SKUD PÅ STAMMEN continues at Design Werck until Sunday 10 March 2019
note: Design Werck does not open on Monday or Tuesday

Design Werck