Posts tagged with "Copenhagen":

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Copenhagen’s circular Axel Towers reinterpret traditional urban form

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Located within Copenhagen’s city center, a new housing development challenges traditional urban form, while offering new possibilities for shared collective space and sensitively-scaled infill development. Designed by Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects, the Axel Towers are a collection of five circular mid-rise buildings, named after their block “Axeltorv” which occupies a site nestled between prominent medieval and contemporary districts.  
  • Facade Manufacturer FKN Group
  • Architects Landgaard & Tranberg
  • Facade Installer FKN Group; Zublin (general contractor)
  • Facade Consultants FKN Group (facade consultant); COWI (engineers)
  • Location Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System concrete frame w/ metal panel cladding
  • Products Tombak cladding (80% copper; 20% zinc) by FKN Group
The redesign of the site, also by the architects, resulted in locating public outdoor space between the towers. This distributes an open and inviting building, with entrances to shops, cafes, and restaurants throughout the perimeter of the building at both the ground level and an elevated “city garden.” “As the project architects, architecturally and in regards of urban transformation, we do believe to have achieved a lot with Axel Towers.” said Michael Kvist, architect at Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter. “Having public functions incorporated is very important to generate and support city life in and around the building, and fulfill the vision of creating a new positive identity for Axeltorv and the surrounding area."
Kvist said the unique massing of the development and the materiality of the facade were carefully developed to establish a scale for Axel Towers to the surrounding urban context. This is primarily evident in the height of the development, which sits below the surrounding high-rise buildings. The composition and location of the varying building heights for each tower was chosen in relation to both solar orientation and contextual massing of the surrounding buildings.   Urbanistic principles of integrating public space into the development are highlighted by a “Skybar”  restaurant on the 9th and 10th floors of one of the towers (Tower D) so that those who do not work in the building are given the opportunity to enjoy the view. Tombak—the chosen primary facade material—is tactile and patinas over time to a deep dark brown color. The material is a brass alloy combining 80% copper and 20% zinc. The architects, also considered pure copper and zinc, but rejected these for their brightness. They arrived at Tombak for it’s weathered surface qualities which, according to Kvist, “gives the towers substance and weight.”  Besides screening the sun, the brise soleil is helping to scale the building to a human scale as well as in relation to the facade proportions of the Copenhagen karré buildings in the surrounding area. Furthermore, the brise soleil with the vertical fins placed in front of the panel joints in the facade blurs that the facade actually is faceted and thus maintain the illusion of the curved tower buildings. The cladding material forms an extended depth building envelope of nearly 20-inches. One of the challenges to a “thick” circular building envelope was the concern that windows would produce a “tunnel vision” effect. Through full scale mock-up studies, these concerns were mitigated, and the sizing of apertures was established. Facade contractor FKN Group worked closely with the architects and general contractor to develop consistency in detailing solutions and window configurations to facade composition which sought for differentiated and varied expression. FKN ultimately fabricated and installed the facade system on over 157,000-square-feet of facade area, composed of approximately 1,600 prefabricated elements. The facade design is divided into horizontal bands for each floor with variably spaced vertical shading fins. It combines panel elements, view glass elements, and tinted glass elements, of which variable facade composition affects height and diameter of individual units. The job site offered limited space allowing for only one crane for assembly. This required special coordination and choreography in the staging of deliveries construction. Kvist said the “Citygarden,” a public space on the first floor wedged between the towers is one of the successes of the project. “an alluring, intimately, varying and surprising urban space that embraces you and at the same time shows back to the surrounding city,” adding, “The Citygarden is open 24/7.”
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SLA’s park design for Bjarke Ingels power plant revealed

The Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG)-designed Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant in Copenhagen is finally set to wrap up later this year, and international firm SLA has revealed their final plan for the plant’s 170,000-square foot rooftop park. First revealed in 2011, the biomass-burning plant, with its ski slopes on the roof and a smokestack meant to belch ring-shaped clouds, instantly caught the internet’s attention. Amager Bakke is seen as major step in Copenhagen’s transition to a carbon-free city, as the plant will burn wood pellets made from rotting waste wood instead of coal. Because Amager Bakke is off the coast of the city center, BIG chose to approach the project as both a publicly accessible common area and a tourist attraction. Clad in a perforated aluminum façade that resembles oversized bricks, the power plant is 289-feet at its peak near the smokestack, but gently ramps downward to meet the ground and provides pathways for both walking and skiing. While the renderings released up until now have typically shown skiers tearing up snowy slopes, SLA has released renderings of how the roof will be planted in warmer weather. The extreme angle of the roof, combined with the building’s height, and temperatures reaching up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit due to boilers under the roof, meant that the plant selection had to be carefully curated. Several distinct biomes are seeded throughout the roof, including a “mountain” and “meadow” area, trees to shield guests from the wind, and laid out hiking and jogging trails that run alongside the 1,640-foot long ski slope. A fitness area has also been placed alongside the viewing platform at the roof’s peak, which visitors can reach by either hiking, or by summiting the building via a climbing wall at ground level. SLA hopes that other than being used as a year-round recreation space, Amager Bakke’s green roof will seed the rest of Copenhagen with city-friendly vegetation. According to Rasmus Astrup, a partner at SLA, “The rooftop’s nature is designed to attract and shelter a wide selection of birds, bees, butterflies and insects, which in itself will mean a dramatic increase in the biodiversity of the area. And utilizing natural pollination and seed dispersal will mean that we can spread the rooftop nature to also benefit the adjacent industry area, parking lots and infrastructure.” Amager Bakke is also well known for its smokestack, which Bjarke Ingels originally envisioned as being able to blow a ring of steam for every ton of carbon dioxide that the power plant emits. Following a successful Kickstarter in 2015 to build a prototype of the system, the “steam ring generator” will be included in the final design. Construction on the rooftop park is underway and will be completed in September of 2018.
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A project in Copenhagen will create three floating classrooms

The capital of the happiest country in the world, Denmark*, will soon get a new multi-purpose waterfront development. This week, Scandinavian architecture firm, C. F. Møller Landscape, won the “Nordhavn Islands” international competition to design part of the waterfront in the growing Nordhavn district, a harbor area in Copenhagen. The firm’s project proposes “an innovative learning, activity and water landscape” adjacent to a planned international school (which C. F. Møller is also designing). Three floating classrooms would give students opportunities to learn outside, even fish and kayak. The design blends a range of concepts—the urban park, the educational classroom, and the recreational community center—right on the waterfront. The Møller proposal features three separate “islands” ringed with low-maintenance plantings: “'The Reef,’ a multifunctional platform for aqua learning and events in extension of the quayside; ‘The Lagoon,' a floating arena for activities such as kayak polo and other water sports, and ‘The Sun Bath,’ an actual harbor bath with a sauna and protected areas for swimming training,” notes the firm in a press release. "We are passionate about creating new urban and landscape spaces that focus on integrating building and landscape because we believe that it adds value to the project concerned and to the city as a whole,” said C. F. Møller head, Lasse Palm, in a statement. Nordhavn Islands and the Copenhagen International School—that will be the largest school in the city—are expected to open summer 2017. *The United States is ranked the 13th happiest country by the way, in a recent report that found correlations between the happiness of a country's citizens with gross domestic product per-capita, social support, health, and other factors.
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Surveying the 2015 Architecture & Design Film Festival, going on now in New York City

Strange-and-Familiar-009-(HR)-copy Architecture & Design Film Festival New York Through October 18, 2015 It's that time of year again. The Architecture & Design Film Festival is back with a roundup of films on architecture, design, and the built environment. It's a great way of taking the pulse of what's going on here and abroad, and how work is being represented to a wider public. The films fall into two genres—by architect or designer, and by building. In the former, there is Concrete Love (read AN's review here), a beautifully made film by Maurizius Staerkle Drux about three generations of Böhm family architects, including Gottfried, the only German to win the Pritzker Prize. Ove Arup: The Philosopher Engineer, Henning Larsen—Light and Space, SlingShot about Dean Kamen, David Adjaye - Collaborations, and Talking to My Father on Irish modernist Robin Walker. Talking to My Father is part of a subgenre of films made by the children of architects including Nathaniel Kahn's My Architect: A Son's Journey (2003) in searching of his father, Louis Kahn and My Father the Genius (2002) about Lucia Small's father, Glen. Whereas these two children were estranged, Simon Walker was close to his father and became an architect himself. He is now burnishing his father's legacy, recalling his apprenticeships with Corbusier and Mies, and trying to save his buildings. In SlingShot, Kamen is presented as more than just the man behind the Segway; he is an inventive spirit and problem-solver who is devoted to cracking big problems like clean water, and health issues—things we are running out of time to resolve. The building-based films include Under the Skin of Design about the making of Ravensbourne (formerly the College of Design and Communication in London), the last building by Foreign Office Architects, Strange & Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island, where architecture by Todd Saunders shapes a program by the homegrown Shorefast Foundation to enliven this remote Newfoundland Island whose economy had nose-dived, Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion about the 1964 NY State Pavilion by Philip Johnson at the NY World's Fair (reviewed by AN here). The Infinite Happiness explores Bjarke Ingels' 8 House "vertical village" outside of Copenhagen. The film, which opened the festival, will give viewers a preview of VIA 57 WEST, the pyramid-shaped apartment building under construction on the far west side. Vignettes of mowing lawns, riding a unicycle, a children's treasure hunt, and a mailman offer glimpses of this self-contained world. An 8 House penthouse resident, Boris, who is originally from Bosnia, directly addresses Ingels: "Hello Bjarke. I think that... You are a madman. And that's with love. That's with affection. I think you created something of quality, something beautiful, something extraordinary... Is it living experiment? Is it social experiment? Is it just a product of the mad mind, extraordinary mind, a genius mind... I don't know what it is, but I feel privileged that I get a possibility to live (in) a place you built...Bjarke... I would like to borrow your brain, just a little."
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Bjarke Ingels wants you to help fund the world’s first smoke ring generator

As if the ski slope Bjarke Ingels placed on top of his new waste-to-energy plant in Copenhagen wouldn't already make it the most interesting power plant in the world, the Danish architect wants the building's smokestack to puff smoke rings of carbon dioxide. Each ring will represent one ton of CO2 burned at the plant, which is being billed as the cleanest power plant on earth. Creating the world's first steam ring generator will be pretty tricky, but Ingels believes that with a crack team of combustion engineers and legitimate rocket scientists, and $15,000, he can prove that it's possible. As for the money thing, the starchitect, who recently purchased a $4 million penthouse in Brooklyn, would love for you to pitch in. Ingels has launched a $15,000 Kickstarter campaign to construct a third and final prototype of the smoke ring generator. Two smaller prototypes already proved to be pretty successful, so it's looking like Ingels and his team might actually pull this thing off. BIG is collaborating on this project with Peter Madsen's Rumlaboratorium and the Danish Technical University. "By sweeping nothing under the carpet, but rather projecting our carbon footprint onto the Copenhagen sky, we provide every single citizen intuitive information to help them inform the decisions they make for their lives and for the city that they want to live in," said BIG on the Kickstarter page. If all goes according to to plan, carbon dioxide smoke rings should be drifting over the Copenhagen sky in 2017.
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Snøhetta to launch a new office in Copenhagen with sensory architecture exhibit

Snøhetta, the New York and Oslo–based firm named after Norway's highest mountain range, is opening an office in Copenhagen. The new space opens on June 18th at the Danish Architecture Centre with an exhibit called World Architecture Snøhetta that invites Danes to come meet the firm. "The core of the exhibition is a sensory workshop where visitors can touch, smell, see, and hear how the many projects develop from concept to concrete work," Snøhetta said in a statement. "In photos and films, visitors are met by the Snøhettas who guide, involve and explain. As something entirely unique, visitors will have the opportunity to step into a virtual model and experience what architects are capable of without the help of technology—namely seeing the physical space on its own." Snøhetta is of course the Big Firm on Campus in Oslo—what, with its popular Opera House and all. Now, it's stepping directly into Bjarke Ingels Group territory, which itself is well known to use mountainous references in its design. But we're sure the two firms will play nice and, who knows, maybe this will result in some cool collaborations.
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Bjarke Ingels opens this addition to his high school with a parkour video of a kid jumping off the walls

Since Bjarke Ingels graduated from Old Hellerup High School near Copenhagen, he's obviously become a bit of an architectural sensation. But that doesn't mean Ingels is too cool for school, specifically his former high school. In 2013, the architect created an undulating recreation center for the school's central courtyard that has a ribbed, almost cathedral-like wood ceiling. At the courtyard-level, the structure forms a a man-made hill where students can hang out between classes. And that was just the start of it. As soon as that project was completed, BIG got to work on a two-story addition for the school which just wrapped construction. The new arts building provides a connection between the snazzy recreation center and the school's soccer—er, "football"—fields. BIG said the new space is intended to mesh with its first project, but not copy it. So where the rec center is primarily concrete with some wood finishes, the new building has wooden walls and concrete floors and ceilings. The building meets the street from underneath the existing fields, which it lifts up by two stories. The building's roof extends the fields, creating a so-called "green carpet for informal activity." The result looks quite similar to Kiss + Cathcart's Bushwick Inlet Park pavilion in Brooklyn. BIG also proposed a similar trick in its Smithsonian master plan. “My high-school, formerly introverted and dispersed, has become open and integrated through two focused interventions. Even though each phase is autonomous and complete – their introduction in to the mix has completely reconfigured the sum of the parts," said Ingels in a statement. "Like a catalyst or an enzyme–once inserted–all the surrounding substance transforms into something completely new.” Since this is the Bjarke Ingels Group, the announcement of the building's completion of course comes with a flashy video (up above). So you can watch as "'free-runner" Bjarke Hellden backflips through the school.
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Bjarke Ingels returns to Denmark with “Aarhus Island”

With Bjarke Ingels’ pyramid-like tower—dubbed the “courtscraper”—rising quickly on Manhattan’s West Side, the globe-trotting architect has unveiled plans for his latest sloping project. And this one has the Dane back in Denmark. In his home country, in the city of Aarhus, Bjarke has created “Aarhus Island,” a mixed-use development along the water. Like so much of his residential work, Bjarke has gone angular at the island. In Aarhus, the architect creates stepped towers that rise to defined peaks. According to DesignBoom, which first reported the plans, these residential buildings include more than 200 units. At the water’s edge, the sharp lines of those structures meet the curved edges of an extensive boardwalk. This structure wraps around the development and includes an amphitheater, cafes and shops, floating swimming pools, and a sandy beach-like area. With all the tanning bodies in the renderings you almost forget that Aarhus Island is in Denmark and not say, a country where the average summertime temperature is above 70 degrees fahrenheit. Can't win them all. Work is slated to begin next year with the first components of Aarhus Island opening in 2017. Get those swim trunks ready!
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Blue Plate Special: Bjarke Ingles Reinterprets Walter Gropius With “Big Cities” Dinnerware

In 1969, Walter Gropius designed a collection of china for Rosenthal. Named after his atelier in Cambridge, The Architects Collaborative, TAC's elegant and curious forms are pristine in white porcelain. Embellishing Gropius' design would naturally be heresy to some purists. To others, it would reflect his belief in the collaborative process. In their update of the tableware, called TAC Big Cities, architect Bjarke Ingels of BIG and Danish industrial design studio Kilo teamed up to create an urban motif for the collection. The skylines of Paris, New York, Berlin, London, and Copenhagen have been delineated in dark blue with a sure hand (My guess it was wielding a 7B pencil). Not meandering doodles, not too-crisp or CAD-like. This is a friendly, confident line. When wrapping around serving vessels, pitchers, and bowls, the cities' silhouettes are easily recognizable, punctuated with unmistakable architectural icons as the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, and the Brandenburg Gate. But when projected onto the borders of plates and platters—comparatively flat surfaces—the lines distort, and read more like seismic activity graphs. It's a pleasantly unruly ornament. Dining on the town of your choice will cost about $50 for a 11-inch plate.
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Taking the Park by Swarm: Bike-Powered Public Space Pops Up Worldwide

That old saw about how you can't take public space with you is bound for the trash heap. Landscape architect John Bela, co-founder of San Francisco–based Rebar, and artist Tim Wolfer of N55 have developed Parkcycle Swarm, a green space initiative that puts people and green space together—on wheels. The basic Parkcycle module is a mobile green space made of an aluminum frame, plywood, standard bicycle parts, and astroturf. Each one measures 2.6 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and 7.4 feet long. Parkcycles offer instant open space to neighborhoods. All users have to do is park the Parkcycle and sprawl out on the turf to enjoy a bottle of beaujolais or play some hackie sack. Four of the small mobile parks are currently making the rounds at the Participate public arts festival in Baku, Azerbaijan. Rebar initially experimented with the Parkcycle concept for one of its famous Park(ing) Days in San Francisco. The company's website explains the concept as a “human-powered open space distribution system designed for agile movement within the existing auto-centric urban infrastructure.” Copenhagen-based public art group N55 sees Parkcycle as an alternative to top down urban development with each Parkcycle forming an individual component within a larger system. As more and more people construct their own Parkcycles, they can come together to form swarms, taking over their local urban environments. Each bicycle-park can be modified and designed to follow local bicycle standards. Additionally, N55 proposes that the Parkcycles could be equipped with small pavilions, trees, solar panels, and even portable grills and mobile kitchens. The original Parkcycle was built in collaboration with California-based kinetic sculptor Reuben Margolin and debuted in 2007. Photos courtesy Tim Wolfer / N55 and Yarat.
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Groundbreaking Pushes Bjarke Ingels’ Hedonistic Sustainability Into Spotlight

Against all odds, BIG-founder Bjarke Ingels is actually building a mountain-slash-ski-slope-slash-waste-to-energy-power-plant in his hometown of Copenhagen. Announced in 2011, the project nearly stalled during the approval process, but officials in the Danish capital broke ground on the facility on Monday. Called the Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant, the structure represents Ingels' concept of Hedonistic Sustainability, the notion that a sustainable building shouldn't only be green, but should also be fun. And the Amager Bakke design certainly will be a tourist draw to Copenhagen's industrial waterfront, inviting visitors to ascend to the top of the facility via elevators and ski down its sloping rooftop year round. Several slopes to accommodate varying skill levels are included on the roof where a synthetic material serves as snow. Evergreen trees at the periphery of the slopes complete the Alpine scene. The facade is imagined as a checkerboard modular planters resembling oversized bricks with windows with facing an interior atrium in between. A slender chimney at the building's peak, updated from the original design, releases smoke rings periodically, indicating when one ton of CO2 has been released into the atmosphere. In 2011, the price of the incinerator was estimated at $645 million.
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Bjarke Ingels Designs a Park as a Museum, Curated by the People

An inventive new park in Copenhagen’s Norrebro district, "Superkilen," designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Superflex, and Topotek 1 serves as a sort of cultural collage of artifacts sourced from 60+ nationalities. Superkilen slices its way through the center of the city, soaking up and flaunting its inhabitants’ diverse cultural backgrounds along the way. The kilometer-long wedge of urban space, completed this summer, is divided according to use into three distinct color-coded zones and sports bike paths linking directly to Copenhagen’s cycling highways. The park’s "urban furniture" integrates a range of symbolic and functional items from all over the world. Armenian picnic tables join Iraqi swings, Brazilian benches, Chinese Palms, Islamic tiled Moroccan fountains, and an Indian climbing playground, among others. A "Green Park," almost entirely green, offers trees, plants, and grassy hills suitable for sunbathing, sports, strolling, and picnicking. The "Red Square" is brightly painted in geometric patches of radiant reds, oranges, and pinks and is intended for recreational use with indoor and outdoor sports arenas and exercise facilities. Locals can gather and mingle at the "Black Square," which acts as the city’s “urban living room,” and play a game of backgammon beneath a Japanese cherry tree, illuminated by a giant neon-red star from the USA.