Derelict grain silo converted into post-industrial residences in Copenhagen

COBE
© COBE

We get tickled in a good way when coming across interesting cases of adaptive reuse -- a fancy term for transforming old buildings or objects for new, unintended uses. Some clever examples include converting old nuclear facilities into an amusement park, or a helicopter into a mini-hotel.

We get a look from Dezeen on how Danish firm COBE (previously) redesigned this former grain-storage silo in Copenhagen into a 17-storey residential apartment building with 38 units of varying sizes.

COBE© COBE

The Silo project is part of a masterplan overseen by COBE that will revitalize Nordhavn, the city's industrial waterfront district. The idea is to transform some of the area's derelict industrial facilities into a place for new residents and for the public as well, says COBE founder and creative director Dan Stubbergaard:

The Silo will be inhabited, but at the same time it will be a destination. An urban trigger and anchor point for the new development of Nordhavn.

COBE© COBE

To complete the transformation, the design carved openings into the solid concrete walls, on top of which galvanized steel cladding was added, creating a curtain of abstracted forms, windows and balconies that give the rehabilitated façade a sharp new look. Says Stubbergaard:

We wanted to retain the spirit of The Silo as much as possible – both in terms of its monolithic exterior and majestic concrete interior, by simply draping it with a new overcoat. The aim was to transform it from the inside out in such a way that its new inhabitants and the surrounding urban life would highlight the structure's identity and heritage. Hence, the use of galvanized steel for the facade, which patinates in a raw way and retains the original harbour character and material feel, lending a roughness and raw beauty to the area, as in its industrial past.

COBE© COBE
COBE© COBE
COBE© COBE
COBE© COBE
COBE© COBE

Inside, the industrial feel is kept with the monolithic concrete walls. Units range from one-storey to two-storey penthouses, and ranging in size from 106 to 401 square metres (1,140 to 4,310 square feet). These are high-end conversions and not tiny apartments by any means. But there is public use incorporated into the restaurant planned for the rooftop and event spaces on the ground floor, says Stubbergaard:

Private housing and public functions ensure that the building remains active all day. Furthermore, the public functions at the top and bottom ensure a multidimensional experience for the various users of the building. From the top you can see almost all of Copenhagen in one panoramic view. It is completely unique, and something all Copenhageners will have the chance to experience.

COBE© COBE
COBE© COBE
COBE© COBE
COBE© COBE

Not many technical details on what kind of measures might have been taken to make the building more energy-efficient, but at the minimum the project plays out the idea that the greenest building is the one that's already standing, by re-adapting an existing structure for a second life. You can see more over at COBE.

Tags: Apartments | Copenhagen | Recycled Building Materials

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK

treehugger slideshows