"Hyper-Democratic" Apartment Design Fits Right in to Copenhagen Waterfront

©. Rasmus Hjortshøj via ArchDaily

They do things differently in Copenhagen, they even have better garbage. But this "hyper-democratic" housing complex shows how the real estate business is different too. It has such a wow site, next to the new Kissing Bridge and what was the site of the world’s best restaurant, Noma. Instead of the developer just dictating, the whole art of the deal thing, the designers spent a great deal of time doing the “hyper-democratic” thing and designed it “with intensive community input and site-specific gestures.”

new and old

© Rasmus Hjortshøj via ArchDaily

”The neighbours were for instance invited to help define the height of the buildings and to help select the materials – both crucial for the way the new Krøyers Plads relates to its surroundings. Instead of inventing a new building typology, Krøyers Plads became a reinvention of the one already found adjacent to the site – the industrial warehouse,” says Dan Stubbergaard, Founder and Creative Director at COBE.

© Rasmus Hjortshøj via ArchDaily

At the bottom is the infamous kissing bridge; this leads up to the smaller Butterfly bridge with three spans, and to the left just out of the photo is Paper Island. This is a nice place to live. (You will certainly never go hungry)

view from across the river

© Rasmus Hjortshøj via ArchDaily

There is also a really nice homage to the forms and scale of the existing historic warehouse buildings that line the waterfront, it really does fit right in. The architects note that “the new development is based on the constraints and demands from the public voices of Copenhageners and is a modern interpretation of the old buildings that are so characteristic for the harbour front in Copenhagen.”

rooftop view

© Rasmus Hjortshøj via ArchDaily

A look at the aerial shot and this rooftop view show again why you do not have to put up tall glass buildings to get reasonable urban densities; they pack a lot of people in to seven and eight storey buildings here. It helps that the ground plane isn’t given over to cars, that streets are kept narrow, and that when they spend zillions on a silly bridge, it is for bikes and pedestrians.