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The Quota House / Pluskontoret Arkitekter

New BIG-Designed Neighborhood to Activate Aarhus’ Waterfront

BIG has unveiled plans for Bassin 7 (BSN7), a new civic-minded, mixed-use neighborhood in Denmark’s second largest city. The phased development will “breathe life into the harbor front,” placing importance on the public realm by organizing the site’s seven residential buildings with a series of recreational and cultural activities, including a beach zone, swimming pools, theater and cafe, along a public promenade. 

Traffic House / MLRP

  • Architects: MLRP
  • Location: Fælledparken, 2100 København Ø, Denmark
  • Area: 400.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Stamers Kontor

© Stamers Kontor © Stamers Kontor © Stamers Kontor © Stamers Kontor

Adaptable House / Henning Larsen Architects + GXN

© Jesper Ray © Jesper Ray © Jesper Ray © Helene Høyer Mikkelsen

The Maintenance-Free House / Arkitema Architects

© Jesper Ray © Jesper Ray © Jesper Ray © Jesper Ray

COBE's Adaptive Reuse of Nordhavnen Silo Marks Beginning of Redevelopment

© COBE
© COBE

Danish firm COBE is transforming the largest industrial building in Nordhavnen - a silo - into an apartment building with both private and public functions. For COBE, who also created the urban development plans for Nordhavnen, this project marks the beginning of the post-industrial area's future. Nordhavnen is a harbor area located only 4km from Copenhagen's city centre.

 "The exciting thing about old industrial property is how to preserve their soul and at the same time use them for something else," said Klaus Kastbjerg, the owner of the silo, commenting on the adaptive reuse project. To preserve the soul of the silo, the architects will maintain a raw industrial feeling on the interior. Each of the 40 retrofitted apartments will contain visible historic remnants such as existing concrete columns and walls.

Keep reading after the break for more information and images...

Incineration Line in Roskilde / Erick van Egeraat

© Tim Van de Velde
© Tim Van de Velde

© Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde © Tim Van de Velde

3XN Designs Affordable Housing Tower in Denmark

© 3XN
© 3XN

The influx of students in Aarhus, Denmark is causing the city to rapidly expand. In response to the growing need for affordable housing close to the local university, 3XN teamed up with developer Jens Richard Pedersen to design a residential high-rise near the institution. The future tower has been dubbed La Tour as an ode to the building that currently occupies the site, Hotel La Tour. 

Newly released renders and model photographs depict the tower as a sweeping semi-circular form that rises in steps. The gradual elevation of the building will start at the street, defining the transition from the surrounding small-scale buildings to the urban high-rise typology. For more information and images, read on after the break.

Courtesy of Adam Mørk/3XN Courtesy of Adam Mørk/3XN Courtesy of Adam Mørk/3XN © 3XN

Light Matters: Whiteness in Nordic Countries

The Scandinavian countries have developed great buildings that resonate with both the scarce light in winter and the long summer days. Henry Plummer, Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has very carefully studied the various daylight phenomena in the Nordic countries, with extensive photo journeys and brilliant writing that combines an analytical perspective with a poetic touch. His view of daylight looks beyond the practical advantages of using reflective white spaces to facilitate bright rooms; the passionate photographer is much more interested in the light effects that play with the local beauty of nature and touch the human soul.

Read on for more about how Nordic light enters white spaces

AD Classics: Aarhus City Hall / Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller

In 1941, at the height of World War II in Western Europe, the city of Aarhus, Denmark achieved an unusual architectural feat. It finished construction on a brand new city hall that was to be a beacon of democratic governance while the city lay under direct Nazi occupation. Designed four years earlier by the heralded duo of Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller, the Rådhus survived the war and became an internationally recognized classic of Danish modernism.

© Flickr user Seier © Flickr user iznogut © Flickr user Seier Material juxtapositions. Image © Flickr user Seier

Livsrum - Cancer Care Centre / ARCGENCY

  • Architects: ARCGENCY
  • Location: Vejle, Denmark
  • Area: 1450.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of ARCGENCY

Courtesy of ARCGENCY Courtesy of ARCGENCY Courtesy of ARCGENCY Courtesy of ARCGENCY

Bjarke Ingels Lays Foundation Brick at LEGO House

BIG's LEGO House is now under construction, following a one of a kind foundation laying ceremony featuring - what else - supersized lego bricks. Bjarke Ingels himself was in attendance to lay one of the foundation bricks. Constructed in LEGO's hometown of Billund, Denmark, the LEGO House will be a 12,000 square metre "hands-on minds-on experience centre."

More on the LEGO House, and the foundation laying ceremony, after the break

Hasle Harbour Bath / White

  • Architects: White
  • Location: Bornholm, Denmark
  • Design Team: Fredrik Pettersson, Mikkel Olsen, Katrine Hvidt, Martin Münter
  • Area: 960.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Signe Find Larsen

© Signe Find Larsen © Signe Find Larsen © Signe Find Larsen © Signe Find Larsen

Under the Skin: Exploring BIG Through the Danish Maritime Museum

With a voluminous portfolio and a bold, light-hearted persona, Bjarke Ingels is among the most respected young architects of the era. Now, as he enters his forties, this article from Icon looks at one of his longest-running projects: The Danish National Maritime Museum. Exploring the development of this project from competition winning proposal in 2006 to completion last year, it discusses some of BIG’s more daring decisions for the museum’s design, as well as Ingels’ development as an architect on the international stage.

The Empowerment of Aesthetics: Denmark's Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale

Denmark's exhibition for the 2014 Venice Biennale focuses on the country's history as a pioneer in the development of a welfare state, and the role that architecture, in connection with art, literature and science had in creating an aesthetic manifestation of this 'better life for all'. By exploring the output of a range of fields in connection to a wider social movement, Empowerment of Aesthetics comes to a fuller understanding of how modernity affected architecture in Denmark.

BIG Unveils Design For "Zootopia" In Denmark

Danish architects BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) have just released ambitious designs for a zoo in Givskud, Denmark. It's a project that provides an intriguing opportunity for, as BIG explains, the creation of a space with "the best possible and freest possible environment for the animals’ lives and relationships with each other and visitors." The firm has been working for the past two years to make Zootopia what the Danish press is calling "the world's most advanced zoo." According to Givskud Zoo's director Richard Østerballe, the park's transformation will benefit greatly from BIG's fresh approach to design--one that has been characterized by the integration of nature and natural elements into cutting-edge, innovative architecture. 

The project will attempt to "integrate and hide buildings" within the landscape. Upon entering the zoo, visitors can either enter a large central square or climb the "building-landscape," allowing them to get a general overview of the layout of the park. From this central element, visitors can access different areas of the zoo. A 4km hiking trail connects the different areas (which represent the continents of Africa, America and Asia). 

 The first phase is expected to be completed in 2019 to coincide with the park's 50th anniversary. 

Read on for more images and BIG's project statement. 

© BIG © BIG © BIG © BIG

Junya Ishigami + Associates Win Competition to Design World Peace Pavilion in Copenhagen

Svendborg Architects and junya.ishigami+associates have won first place in the HOPE foundation's House of Peace Competition. The competition brief calls for a monumental architectural installation to be built in the city harbor of Copenhagen, one that will endure as a lasting symbolic form devoted to world peace. The firms’ winning entry is a floating, cloud-like structure that seems almost to hover over the harbor’s horizon.

Exterior. Image © junya ishigami + associates Section. Image © junya ishigami + associates Exterior. Image © junya ishigami + associates Interior. Image © junya ishigami + associates

Løgstør Sports Hall / CEBRA

  • Architects: CEBRA
  • Location: 9670 Logstor, Denmark
  • Area: 1400.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Mikkel Frost

© Mikkel Frost © Mikkel Frost © Mikkel Frost © Mikkel Frost