Clients: Danish Red Cross
Engineering : Søren Jensen
Collaborators: C.C. Bruun Entreprise, The volunteers of Danish Red Cross
Text description provided by the architects. Red Cross Volunteer House is an extension of the national headquarters of Red Cross in Denmark in Copenhagen. The triangular building has a 850-m2 roof that acts as a large public staircase extending from the street level to the second floor of the building. The extension, which has a floorspace of 750 m2, is placed partially below ground and serves as the main entrance to both the headquarters and the volunteer centre. The Red Cross Volunteer House gives 34,000 volunteers a setting for the continuous development of their work in Denmark. The building is designed in cooperation with the volunteers as a celebration of volunteer work and commitment and as a meeting place for the volunteers, the city and anyone wishing to contribute to the work the Red Cross does for marginalized citizens.
The spectacular roof slope and stair simultaneously blend into and reinterpret the unique character of the area, with the adjacent park Fælledparken and the Danish Freemasons’ Hall, as well as the Red Cross headquarters themselves, a yellow-brick building that is the former Copenhagen County hall. The stepped roof was built using the same yellow bricks. It has become a popular meeting place – in summer, volunteers and staff hold meetings here, passers-by stop for a break, and locals use the steps for anything from workouts to coffee appointments.
Going inside, one is met by a common arrival area shared by the volunteer centre and the headquarters. To the left, the Volunteer House opens up in the form of an open terraced stand and auditorium with a capacity of more than 100 attendants. This space leads down to a series of conference rooms that can be used for training and meetings, events, presentations, film showings, and many other activities.
The stepped roof surface opens up towards the headquarters, which are visible from any position within the Volunteer House. The original building and the new extension are further linked by a green park. The Red Cross Volunteer House also offers a common space for employees and volunteers to meet, thus providing ideal conditions for development and cooperation to flourish.