On Saturday, at the opening of her latest building, Ellen van Loon sat on the terrace of BLOX in Copenhagen exuding the satisfaction and fulfillment that comes with finishing a major public building. A day of opening activities concluded, van Loon spoke with ArchDaily about the 27,000-square-meter mixed-use building. Built for client Realdania, it’s the Danish Architecture Center’s new home on the edge of the harbor, located on an incredibly challenging site that is bifurcated by a busy street. “The nicest thing is that you can design a public building,” says van Loon. “The doors are always open.” Her palpable passion for buildings without barriers comes with a commendable record of working on some of the most interesting and innovative public projects in Europe, like the Reichstag, New German Parliament in Berlin—which she participated on while working for Norman Foster—and later the Casa da Música in Porto.
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