8house in Copenhagen by BIG

Kan også læses på: Dansk

The 8house is a spectacular and world famous project by Denmark’s even more famous ‘starchitect’, Bjarke Ingels, and his firm BIG (Bjake Ingels Group).


The building finished by the end of 2010 and gained stardom especially when it won the prestigious first price for the world’s best residential building at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona in 2011.

The complex houses almost 500 big and small apartments as well as retail shops, offices and a kindergarten, a diversity expressed in the conceptual horizontal layering


Conceptually the building is well perceivable as a conclusion on Bjarke Ingels’ two earlier projects nearby, the VM Housing and the Mountain Housing, from where it’s combining ideas and intentions.

These include:

  • ‘the vertical city’, a direct reference to Le Corbusiers unité d’habition,
  • Bjarke Ingels’ own term ‘architectural alchemy’: seemingly incompatible elements mutually benefiting from being brought together, and
  • intentions to achieve qualities similar to what we know from the typical suburb, but in a denser version.

Mountain path

The access of residents and visitors on sloping walkways and staircases is a truly unique feature, not least in a context of urban design and public space. Even though not allowed, it’s actually possible to bike to the top most level of the building.


After winning the price for world’s best residential project it was mentioned and depicted in countless media around the world, and residents experienced a flood of visiting architects and students in several busses arriving every day.

The semi-public walkway up the building is well dimensioned for serving as a social space for residents, but not for a massive invasion of groups of 30 or 50 people with cameras, and the attention has resulted in significant nuisance for the residents, who have restricted the access to certain areas and to work hours to protect their private life.

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