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Square building with canals in Copenhagen

Square building with canals in Copenhagen
  • calender 28.04.2017

Rebuilding the port areas into modern residential areas is a popular idea in Europe. Water resources (river, lake, bay, and harbor) near the house is always a significant attractive bonus for the buyer, because it gives a special feeling of comfort and rest to the residents, we like to spend time near the water. In Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, it was decided to use this idea, where, from the early 2000s, the production and port area of Sydhavnen (from Danae Southern Harbor) was transformed. Today there are offices of international companies, a university campus (which occupies former buildings of the research center Nokia), residential blocks, private homes, as well as a large natural park on the territory with the total area of almost 4.5 square kilometers.

One of the most successful residential projects in the area is Sluseholmen complex for 1350 apartments with the total area of ​​135 thousand square meters. It began to be built in 2004, the first residents drove in 2007, and in 2008 the construction was completed. The main feature of the project is that it is built on eight artificial islands, separated by channels. The islands are interconnected by bridges, but under them you can swim in a kayak, a paddle or a motor boat. The channels are connected to the duct, through which you can go out into the open sea. Interestingly, in 2009, this project received the Danish Urban Planning Award for the best city planning project in Denmark.

 However, this complex is not only residential, it is considered as multifunctional. In addition to apartments, there are offices, shops, service providers. Thus, there is always life and people on the streets of the districts, and most household needs can be met after walking a few minutes. The pedestrian areas are in the focus of planners, because they are considered as priority in the cities of Western Europe.

  Previously, there was a large factory on this place where Ford cars were assembled. It worked in Copenhagen from 1924 till 1965. When the factory was closed, the other companies started to close around. And in the 1980s, the countryside began to be considered poor, where all residents live only at the expense of social assistance. Everything changed in the early 2000s, in particular through the construction of the Sluseholmen complex. The project was developed by Danish bureau Arkitema with the participation of Dutch architects Sjoerd Soeters.

Water plays a very important role in the project. A lot of attention of architects is concentrated around channels, bridges, approaches and entrances to them. There are also embankments and places where you can descend simply to water, and pier, along which you can leave your boat. There are, therefore, several types of spaces, including zones with an intimate atmosphere, and social spaces where many people walk.

All buildings of the complex are from four to seven levels and are combined into closed wells.

There is a clean and comfortable green area with lawns, trees, cycling parks, space for a small public garden or a city and places inside each such district for the rest of the residents. These courtyards are closed from the public, only residents of the buildings and their guests have access. Thus, everyone has the choice either to spend time in the public space outside or enjoy the tranquility and silence inside the quarter.

 It was decided to invite outside architectural offices to design the facades in order to make the complex diverse and similar to the development of the central part of Copenhagen,. The general supervision of the project was carried out by one company, but it chose only the materials and colors that can be worked on, and the style of the facades was developed by different companies. Therefore, you can have the impression, that there are different houses, erected separately before you, although in reality it is part of the same complex. This is done with the purpose to make everything possible, that it was not bored to walk on the street, so that the landscape around has always changed, and people could look at different architectural decisions - the authors provoke viewers to evaluate, compare and dialogue.

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