Krøyers Plads by COBE + VLA

Krøyers Plads by COBE + VLA

Krøyers Plads by COBE + VLA

Krøyers Plads (meaning ‘Krøyer’s square or plaza’) occupies a much-disputed site that finally found its solution in a project displaying modern interpretation of tradition and history.

The development of this former shipping pier went through several rounds of proposals before finally finding an acceptable solution. Designs by Dutch Erick van Egeraat, Danish Henning Larsen and Bjarke Ingels, were all rejected because of protests from the local community. 

Building height was the main issue and a general concern about the character of Copenhagen as a small scale city. 

Along the main harbour channel, you’ll see a few older warehouses perpendicular to the waterfront. They orient gables towards the water and basins between some of them. Newer buildings from the 1970s through 1990s mimic the volumes of these, adding to the row of gables facing the waterfront. 

Reform of tradition

This project shows a similar approach, but in a more modern variation, with slightly skewed volumes. Also, the facade material is a modern variation of the traditional brick. 

Contemporary buildings may be clad in bricks and thereby adapt to the historic surroundings. 

But construction technologies changed, so they are in fact almost invariably prefab concrete structures. They may have a brick facade hanging on them, merely as a nice looking (but expensive) coating. 

So, more consistent with modern construction, the architects chose the same material for this project, adobe. Her, though, in the shape of tiles, that use less material (and energy for production) and weigh less. Even the roofs make use of these same tiles, giving the buildings a monolithic appearance, punctuated by recessed balconies carved into them.

Public space has priority, with publicly accessible spaces around the basin. The piers attract dense crowds of sunbathers and swimmers on a warm summer day. 

And a nice touch is the cuts through the two buildings, an entranceway for residents. These also connect the spaces between the buildings. Clad in polished steel plates, they offer a surprising and fun mirror for through-passers. 

GHB landscape architects collaborated on the project.

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