City As An Edifice

In the newest neighbourhood of Copenhagen, a brand new city has been erected in a bare field. The current context of the area being a puzzle of apartments, a man-made slope of villa gardens, the scope of creativity for to develop new architectural species was vast.

The BIG studio, were given the opportunity to create two new houses, a gigantic block, and a small tower. In the middle of an enormous green area in Copenhagen and the metro lines of Orestad, lies the site which was envisioned to be a modern version of Frederiksstaden. The brief of the project was to accommodate 500 dwellings, and 400 workspaces, in addition to a small tower, next to an existing office complex.

By creating an urban cell split between the new structure and the office complex, they have converted the office building into a square and given it a courtyard, and isolated the tower to make it a free standing monolith instead of stretching it over the residential block. The tower with a footprint of only 160 square meters, was designed with an approach to keep it tall and slender unlike the traditional towers of copenhagen, and the top provides a perfect view overlooking the roofscape of the block. The bottom of the tower has been twisted so as to face southward, to give the lower floors a better view too. The result is a facetted triangular gable motif, in the otherwise modern tower.

Keeping in mind that a city becomes alive when it is rich with experiences and surprises, also to keep the design simple and appealing, the challenge for the 57,000 sqm residential block, was to create simplicity and variety, diversity with coherence, and thus to create a city within the building. The structure has been divided horizontally into layers according to the different functions in the any residential complex, with the commercial offices on the ground floor, the row houses above them, the apartments on the upper floors and the pent houses on top. As the master plan demanded end east-west connection, the structure was given a knot in the centre to create niches, giving rise to two new plazas. As a result, the apartments benefit from the view, sunlight, and fresh air, while the offices merge with life on the street. A continuous public path stretches from the street level to the penthouses and allows people to bike from the ground floor to the top, winding through the urban perimeter block. Thus, perfectly achieving its aim of creating diversity along with simplicity within a city.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *