Youth Recreation & Culture Center / Dorte Mandrup + Cebra

Architect: Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter Aps + Cebra Arkitekter A/S
Location: Hellerup, Copenhagen, Denmark
Project Year: 2008
Turn Key Contractor: Partnering NCC Construction Danmark / Mangor & Nagel Arkitektfirma A/S
Client: Gentofte Municipality
Engineer: NCC Construction Danmark
Landscape: Peter Holst Landskab
Construction Area: 2,600 sqm
LOutdoor Area: 4,000 sqm
Photographs: Adam Mørk


The building is situated in a residential area in a northern suburb of Copenhagen, Denmark. The area predominately consists of large villas from the turn of the century.

The site is long and narrow- on one side bordering the railroad and on the other a busy road- Gersonsvej – hence there was a noise problem to be solved.

site plan

The program was a mixed use complex containing several different institutions both communities and individual users. Cross programming was developed through workshops and games with future users, adults as well as children.

The site is noise polluted in a degree demanding noise reducing walls to protect the outdoor play area. Elements such as a bunker and a transformer box were integrated in the landscape of green noise baffles surrounding the site. An old chestnut tree- characteristic for the site – was preserved and incorporated in the garden.

To express the complexity of the program under one roof, the building is shaped to the area with a form that morph recreation and leisure in 3 connected houses. As interpretations of the surrounding villas, the design of the building basically downscales the large volume of the gym to the scale of the area.

ground floor plan

The houses spread out into individual villas:

  • Sports villa
  • Café villa
  • Work shop villa
  • Music villa

There is a dynamic synergy between the villas and throughout the house, where sports and leisure are directly intertwined, both physically and mentally. The merge between indoors and outdoors was also in relation to this and an important feature for the users. Ground level activities all have direct access to the garden or court yards.

The terminology of the building recognizes classical domestic spaces such as the entrance hall, dining room, atelier, living room, terrace, garden and attic. Through the use of color, light and surfaces, varying moods are emerging as a series of rooms. Each is done with its own special character, specific technical, acoustic, material and surface related qualities depending on their unique function.

The ambition has been to create a hangout for children, who recall Pippi Long stockings famous “Villa Villakulla” more than just another institution.

Cite: "Youth Recreation & Culture Center / Dorte Mandrup + Cebra" 27 Feb 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 Aug 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=14767>

9 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down -2

    I LIKE THIS KIND OF ARCHITECTURE,
    FROM ONE SIDE LOOK LIKE TRADITIONAL COTTAGE HOUSE(ROOF)
    BUT FROM ANOTHER LIKE CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE WITH GOOD MATERIALS AND INTERESTING INTERIORS. IT SOMETHING LIKE TRANSFORM TRADITIONAL ROOF TO CREATE NEW SHAPE.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    I love to see how sensible the design process was to the interaction of children with the space, creating different places, suitable for different characters, in a confortable form and scale. A good example.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Haha,
    That’s Where i spend my spare time…
    Im there monday-thursday 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
    LOVE it!

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    As architects going ‘green’ what is the extent of natural lighting and ventilation employed.

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