We are blessed in Portugal by a bright sun during almost all the year. This makes us surprised by the ingenious solutions found in the north to... catch the sun.
The advanced windows and balconies may be common to locals, but they call our attraction, and enhance the importance of our lucky weather.
When walking around old cities and towns, I always look up to see if there is something special.
Well, in Copenhagen, there is plenty to see when you look up, but this piece of architecture rather interested me.
Located in one of the busy streets, these face's had what look like a pipe in the middle of their mouths. It didn't look to be used anymore, but in the olden days, is this where the empty bath water came out?
It looks like some kind of water came out, which would have made it quite interesting when walking along this street.
I would like to thank local man and VT'er ValbyDK for filling me in with some information. The building dates to 1907 and was home of the headquaters of the Danish Gas Company for many years. Later it was a second-hand bookshop, and now a sushi restaurant.
LOCATION....Gammel Kongevej 120, Frederiksberg.
Favorite thing: Opened in early 2009, designed by the famous French architect Jean Nouvel. The blue is a "trademark" of the architect. This is one of the most expensive concert halls in the world - and one of the most favorably reviewed. The blue screen is used as a canvas upon which to project visual images.
No privacy here! I was just thinking that this new apartment/condominium project would make a great set for an Almodovar film when I spotted a Danish film crew at work! I even caught a "celebrity glimpse" of a popular Danish film actor, Anders Berthelsen. This building is typical of the more post-modern, less severe style that is starting to pop up in an around Copenhagen.
Architect and Designer: the PLOT firm. Location: Ørestad Boulevard 57-59.
Now, these are really nice student apartments!
The Tietgenkollegiet, or residence hall, was opened in 2006. Designed by the firm of Lungaard and Tranberg, the building is distinguished by its circular "round barn" shape, which certainly makes it distinctive in the "rectangle city" of Ørestad! What makes it truly interesting as architecture and design is the use of a fine grade of wood, which provides a nordic, "foresty," feel to the center of the city. If I lived here, I think I might want to be a student as long as possible.
Rued Langgaards Vei 10-18
Bikuben Kollegiet commissioned A.A.R.T. architects to design this new residence hall (with 107 units) for their Ørestad "campus." It's rather busy - and over-designed, IMHO. Maybe the architect was trying too hard to "make a statement" - but it doesn't look like a very satisfying place to live.
The "light artist" Viera Collaro created several "installations" for the project. Maybe these "words" might be effective in a museum, but I think here with students they just come across as "preachy" and even trite.
On Njalsgade, in North Ørestad."
Another Henning Larsen design is this central building for the IT University, ideally located on the "new building" axis in south Copenhagen. Yes, it's a very large atrium, but thing of all the possibilities it gives for playing indoor baseball!
I really like the way that the "sky boxes" (which can be used for studying, for eating, or just for relaxation) extend out into the open space of the Great Hall.
After my first visit to Copenhagen in May 2006, I wrote a very negative review of the Royal Danish Library, informally called "The Black Diamond" because of its external hard and shiny appearance. I was very critical of the building for its massive and seemingly impenetrable facade, it's failure to interact with the harbor, the manner in which it suggest "The Death Star" from some sci-fi nightmare, not a public library which (I think) ought to present an ideal of openness and transparency.
Well, in January 2007 I took a short tour of the interior of the library with my friend Caspar, and I realize that the public spaces inside are much more successful. I also have to concede the the "Diamond" is an annex space which does a fairly good job of integrating itself with the original library next door. The designers seem to have used good sense in creating appealing public spaces, and the restaurant, theater, and book store on the ground level are well integrated.
I don't like these moving walkways, though, especially when the link one level to another. Too much like gerbil links, IMHO!
The new community of Ørestad is rising dramatically on the plains of Amager, just to the south of the Copenhagen City Center. A key center of the emerging development is at the point where two rail lines meet: one north-south, the other east-west. There, American master designer Daniel Liebeskind is laying out the plans for more new construction; and there Danish master Henning Larsen (he of the famous Copenhagen Opera House) has already created a strong and successful "tall building," the twenty-story Ferring International Center.
Ferring is a Swedish pharaceutical company which has invested heavily in the development. Their Danish hq is is an interesting mid-rise structure which (for now, at least) easily dominates the surrounding plain.
Danish modernism is not dead! Post-modernism has not yet been born here! Nothing ironic about this early 21st century homage to Mies van der Rohe. I like the way that the severity of the building is lessened by the horizontal slats on the windows, and it's a nice touch to have a humanistic sculpture to relieve some of the barrenness in the courtyard at the building's base.
Fondest memory: As explained in the main page, Copenhagen has grown over time in an organic manner. Consequently, the centre is mostly narrow winding streets and you could spend days without having seen it all. Walk around the town, chose small streets at random and follow them to their hidden corners.
Favorite thing: Danes have a tendency to build very colourful houses. Copenhagen is no exception and walking along the streets you will see plenty of bright buildings. I don't know if it has anything to do with the flag but the predominant colour is definitely a deep red.
Favorite thing: New residential campus architecture in the Ørestad North section of the city. Part of the so-called "Housing Snake" development, and dramatically designed by the locally-based Arkitema firm.
Favorite thing: The new headquarters of the state-run Danish Radio is the anchor of the DR-Byen (Danmarks Radio Town) development in Ørestad. The Vilhelm Lauritzen firm designed the striking black box.