‘Dronningegården’ residential complex

Copenhagen functionalist Architecture Dronningegården Kay Fisker C. F. Møller & Svenn Eske Kristensen

Kan også læses på: Dansk

Dronningegården urban renewal scheme

‘Dronningegården’ roughly translates to ‘queens court’. As a part of the first condemnation process in Denmark, it is a residential development that replaced a slum in central Copenhagen from the early 1940s. Because of the second world war building stopped in 1943 and didn’t finish until 1958.

All three collaborating architects on this project were highly productive and took defining part in shaping the Danish version of modern style in the first half of the 20th century.

Four L-shaped corner buildings form a court with trees and parking spaces. Two perpendicular streets divide the four quadrants.

The volume of this large scale complex is proportionally divided and subdivided in smaller and yet smaller units.

Approaching the complex, one experience more ‘levels’ or scales. At a distance the overall impression of a coherent city block.

On the next level individual units each with a pitched roof, an almost simplistic symbol of a house, consisting of closed faces with windows and an open cell-like structure with balconies. Walking along with the facades windows and the retracted balconies alternate in a delicate pattern, most balconies individually inhabited with terrace furniture and flower boxes.

So despite being a large housing scheme with a high degree of repetition, Dronningegården does not express big mass storage, allowing no individuality. Which was and is too often a problem with large scale affordable housing projects.

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