UNESCO has named Copenhagen the World Capital of Architecture for 2023, following Rio de Janeiro’s inaugural hold of the title. Besides hosting the International Union of Architect’s World Congress, the initiative also aims to highlight the path to a more sustainable future and the role architecture and urban planning play in achieving this goal. The title is awarded triannually.
Denmark has continually topped the survey for the happiest countries, according to the World Happiness Report. For urban designers, Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, has become one of the most cited case studies regarding carbon-neutral infrastructure, pedestrian and bike-friendliness, and the outstanding qualities of its public realm. According to the Dansk Arkitektur Center, over 10,000 architects are expected to visit Copenhagen in the following year, to join the guided tours, exhibitions, debates, and cultural events that put design and architecture in the spotlight.
Read on to discover the main architecture-related events happening in Copenhagen in 2023. The following is a list of events announced so far, with more happenings to be reported during the year.
Related Article12 Architecture Events to Pay Attention to in 2023
July 02 - 07, 2023
The Congress gathers architects from all around the world to promote, discuss and showcase architecture as a tool to achieve the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The 28th congress hosted in Copenhagen is focused on the overarching theme of Sustainable Futures – Leave no one Behind. Francis Kéré, Bjarke Ingels, Ursula von der Leyen, Kunlé Adeyemi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Chris Downey are among the keynote speakers of this 2023 edition.
June 1-11, 2023
This edition of the Copenhagen Architecture Festival (CAFx) has announced the theme "Life Form" to explore all versions of life in the context of urban environments: symbioses, habitats, life balances, and life cycles. Three exhibitions at Halmtorvet 27 and a wide range of digital dissemination initiatives, focus on the relationship between form and life through new narratives, metaphors, and models of architecture and architectural production. The event will also feature a local branch of the exhibition that festival director Josephine Michau is curating for the Danish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
June 1-11, 2023
The Copenhagen Architecture Festival also organizes a global short film competition focusing on the UN’s Leave No One Behind agenda. The winners will be invited to attend CAFx, and the incoming films will be compiled in a Film Mosaic of everyday voices from different geographical and cultural contexts. This will be made available for researchers, educators, laymen, and decision-makers as a tool of impact during the UIA 2023 World Congress.
March 25–26, 2023
Open House is an international concept that started 30 years ago in London. Its purpose is to open to the public typically closed buildings and invite people behind the walls of everything, from palaces to power plants and private homes. More than 40 buildings are included in the program to make architecture more open and accessible for the enjoyment and benefit of more people.
The DAC Architecture Run is a unique form of exploring Denmark’s buildings and alleys, pathways and stairways, gardens and parks, historical buildings, and museums. The specially planned races are without timekeeping, and they offer unique access to buildings usually closed to the public. Current races are announced in the DAC newsletter.
City Walks: Capital of Cool
Every Saturday, 13.30 – 15.30
The Danish Architecture Center is organizing guided public tours to explore and understand the character of Denmark’s capital. The tours vary thematically, from contemporary architectural icons to historic landmarks and vibrant neighborhoods. As Copenhagen is recognized as being one of the most livable and sustainable cities in the world, the tours aim to help visitors experience daily life in the city.
March 24, 2023
The Danish Architecture Center aims to open the first permanent exhibition that explores the history of Danish architecture from the Viking Age to the present day. This is also n opportunity to explore individual style periods, meet the architects and understand the evolution of the built environment in Danish society.