Last week the UK’s Culture Minister Ed Vaizey announced that he was commissioning a review of the country’s architecture policy, to be led by Sir Terry Farrell along with a number of high profile advisors, including Thomas Heatherwick, Alison Brooks and Alain de Botton. According to Vaizey, the review, expected to be complete by the end of the year, “will be a rallying point for the profession.”
In his article in The Guardian, Olly Wainwright rather hopefully questioned: “might this year-long study result in an innovative new piece of legislative guidance – perhaps along the lines of Denmark’s architecture policy, introduced in 2007?” While Wainwright somewhat flatly concludes, “somehow, that seems unlikely,” there’s no doubt that the UK could only stand to gain from learning from Denmark’s innovative policy.
So what lessons could the UK (and the world) learn from the Danes? Read on after the break…
It’s official! Danish architect Bjarke Ingels of BIG has been commissioned to collaborate with Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) and COWI to design the first public LEGO® museum in the company’s hometown of Billund, Denmark. The “LEGO® Brand House” and “experience centre” is intended to compliment the non-public “LEGO® Idea House”, which is also located in Billund.
Bjarke Ingles, founder of BIG stated: “It’s going to be looking at LEGO® from all its different aspects—LEGO® as an art form, its cultural impact. When we were doing the research for it [the LEGO® house], we realized, if you would consider it just an art museum, you would be able to fill it with so much user content of such a high quality…it is one of our great dreams at BIG that we are now able to design a building for and with the LEGO® group. I owe a huge personal debt to the LEGO® brick, and I can see in my nephews that its role in developing the child as a creative, thinking, imaginative human being becomes ever stronger in a world in which creativity and innovation are key elements in virtually all aspects of society.”
More on LEGO®’s BIG commission after the break…
There are many things that set BIG’s latest project, Amager Bakke, apart. The plant, which broke ground yesterday, will be the cleanest waste-to-energy plant in the world. It will be the tallest and biggest building in Copenhagen. It will house Denmark’s first ski-slope (on the roof of the plant, no less). It will emit its CO2 emissions – not as a continuous stream of smoke, oh no – but in sudden, bursting smoke rings.
However, the Amager Bakke waste-to-energy Plant is far more than the sum of its rather remarkable features. As an urban “destination in itself” and a landmark in environmental design, it’s one of the most radical representations of architecture as a means of public engagement of our time. And, what’s more, it’s a signal that BIG has finally reached maturity, truly coming into its own as a firm.
Read more about BIG’s remarkable Amager Bakke waste-to-energy plant, after the break….
Elkiær + Ebbeskov Arkitekter shared with us their winning proposal, titled ‘GROW YOUR CITY’, in the Suburb of the Future competition. The idea is not to reinvent the suburbs from scratch, but they believe that if one is able to identify their existing strengths and exceptional features, the areas sometimes referred to as “the fringes” may have the potential to become “the cutting edge”. Their design describes a modern area of suburban cultivation – “the Growth Zone” (Vækstzonen) – as a new residential quarter in the town of Nykøbing Falster. Its underlying notion is based on the broad links sweeping from countryside to seaside and on into the close-grained structure of the Danish fields and farmlands. More images and architects’ description after the break.
OKRA, in collaboration with CCO, ACT, and Smith Innovation, recently won the competition for their Ejby Campus Business area proposal located in the Glostrup Commune near Copenhagen. Their sustainable and innovative development strategy focuses on the creation of a diverse program and the use of public space. With the opportunity to rethink the business areas of suburbia, the business area currently plays an important role in providing economically attractive workplaces in an accessible, open and green setting. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Designed by SHJ (Simon Hjermind Jensen) Works, Fire Shelter: 01 is a personal project located in at Sydhavnstippen in Copenhagen. Taking inspiration from architecture of ethnic and nomadic people, the starting point for the design emerged from a fascination of the place. It´s a temporary project and a design experiment that aims to celebrate the place. The project has public access, and it establishes experiences of spatial and social character. More images and architect’s description after the break.
Inspired by the school’s strong community spirit, C.F. Møller Architects’ first prize winning design for University of Southern Denmark’s student housing project includes 250 student residences that are located in three interconnected 14-storey buildings. This means that the residence has no front or back, but appears attractive from a 360-degree perspective. The building’s distinctive shape will make it easily recognizable on the campus, and clearly advertises its distinct residential content. More images and architects’ description after the break.
At almost a mile long Superkilen wedges through one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighborhoods in Denmark creating a truly unique urban space with a strong identity on a local and global scale. The park is divided into three zones: the red square, the black market and the green park and is conceived as a giant exhibition of urban best practice – a collection of global everyday objects from the 60+ home countries of the local inhabitants. Initiated by the City of Copenhagen and Realdania Foundation, the project started construction in 2009 and opened to the public in June 2012. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected Superkilen as one of the winners of the 2013 Institute Honor Awards, the profession’s highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence in architecture, interior architecture and urban design.
Opening tomorrow, January 17, at the Danish Architecture Centre (DAC) in Copenhagen, Denmark, the ‘In Dialogue with the World’ exhibition, which runs until March 10, will show how architects today engage far beyond aesthetics when designing buildings. schmidt hammer lassen architects, along with Henning Larsen Architects, and ADEPT will invite visitors to listen to their accounts of what it is like to work in the field of architecture in the 21st century. With the title Give more, the schmidt hammer lassen architects’ part of the exhibition uses eight selected projects as examples of how buildings, aside from being beautiful, give more. More information after the break.
CEBRA has gained the support of The Danish Foundation for Culture and Sport Facilities (LOA) for the realization of a new home for Denmark’s Sport Fishing Association in Vingsted, Denmark. The 5,489 sq.ft. project will accommodate the association’s administration as well as an activity center for sports fishermen and other visitors to the beautiful surroundings in the Vejle brook valley. More images and architects’ description after the break.