BIG Architecture in Copenhagen
If you are an architecture lover then I’m about to tell you a great reason to travel to Copenhagen! This is the city of Bjarke Ingels, in every sense! He was born, studied here and designed many succesful buildings around the city. Moreover he’s the hottest architect ever, no one can deny it! I was hoping to run across him casually strolling around the city but unfortunately it did not happen.
So, one of his most famous building is the 8 Tallet (or 8 House) even if more than “house” I would call it “neighbourhood” because this is not a traditional block of apartments but something that combines housing, recreation, services, social activities. It’s like a little, delimited city that develops both horizontally and vertically in a 3D urban organism where everything is connected by bike-friendly paths that flow like a strip from the bottom up to the 10th level. The general impression is of a place in which socialisation and interactions are enhanced. There’s an abundance of green spaces: the unique shape allows to have two interior courtyards with terraced gardens and a green roof is strategically used to reduce the urban heat island effect but even to have a pleasant green strip that follows the pedestrian path. This has been my favourite among the Ingels’ projects I’ve seen in Copenhagen.
P.s. I’ve seen many apartments on Airbnb to rent for a night or more, it could be interesting instead of going to a hotel…
The next one is called Mountain Dwelling which is exactly what the name says…with the Mount Everest on it, just to accentuate the idea. The concept is genial: combine a public parking lot with apartments whose main feature is high levels of privacy.
“Instead of seeing cars as a problem that you need to hide below the ground, why not give them what they want? Cars should be near the ground, sheltered, and kept away from direct sunlight. Housing, on the other hand, “wants” southern exposure, fresh air, and a view. Gradually, when you mix cars and housing—if they could move themselves—they’d gravitate to this form, with the parking in the deep space in the north and the houses on top, facing south.” as Bjarke Ingels argues in an interview for Dwell.
The building is a perfect combination of public and private: there are public staircases along the outer parts of the building so anyone can “climb” it (and I recommend you to do it because the view from the top is amazing) while the hallway in each level is enclosed (and accessible by a funicular-style elevator which was so cool to see in action). Furthermore here is where Bjarke Ingels himself lives, he moved as soon as the building was completed (from the next door VM House, design by him of course).
And last but not least the VM Houses (whose name comes from the plant shape of the two residential blocks). The striking element consists of course in the triangular balconies coming out from a totally glassed south facade. The effect is quite dramatical and it makes a strong impression on people, you can’t forget something like that, it’s totally unique!
The reason of this particular shape used for the balconies is related to a practical and functional logic rathen than an aesthetic one, which is connected to maximize the sunlight income in each apartment but even to encourage socialization since the balconies are oriented towards each other (in the common garden there’s even a giant barbecue, loved the idea but I wonder if people actually use it). However the emotional impact of these sharp figures seems to be stronger. To me they look like pointed teeth ready to attack you at any moment!
P.s. If you haven’t done it throughout the reading check Bjarke’s website, it’s awesome!!!
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