Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
8 House in Copenhagen, Denmark by BIG-BJARKE INGELS GROUP
May 5th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
With spectacular views towards the Copenhagen Canal and over Kalvebod Fælled’s protected, open spaces, 8 House will not only be offering residences to people in all of life’s stages as well as office spaces to the city’s business and trade – it will also serve as a house that allows people to bike all the way from the ground floor to the top, moving alongside townhouses with gardens winding through an urban perimeter block.
8 House is where you will find the attention to detail embedded in a larger context. Here, closeness thrives in the 60,000 m2 building. This is where the tranquillity of suburban life goes hand in hand with the energy of a big city, where business and housing co-exist. 8 House is where common areas and facilities merge with personal life, and where you can reach for the stars at the top of the building’s green areas.
The building’s housing program offers three kinds of accommodation: apartments of varied sizes, penthouses and townhouses. With a mix of suburban tranquillity and urban energy, the townhouse and its open housing is ideal for the modern family, while singles and couples may find the apartments more attractive. And for those who live life to the fullest, the penthouses function as a playground with fantastic views over the canal and Southern Copenhagen. The different housing typologies are united by the exterior dimensions which provide inspiration for adventures, inspiring communities.
8 House is designed by BIG who has been partly inspired by classic townhouses as well as the open, democratic nature of functionalistic architecture. The architects have designed a long, coherent house with immense differences in height, creating a strong inflow of light and a unique local community with small gardens and pathways that channel your thoughts into mountains in Southern Europe and memories of a childhood home. The bow-shaped building creates two distinct spaces, separated by the centre of the bow which hosts the communal facilities of 500 m2. At the very same spot, the building is penetrated by a 9 meter wide passage that connects the two surrounding city spaces: the park area to the west and the channel area to the east.
Instead of dividing the different functions of the building – for both habitation and trades – into separate blocks, the various functions have been spread out horizontally. The apartments are placed at the top while the commercial programme unfolds at the base of the building. As a result, the different horizontal layers have achieved a quality of their own: the apartments benefit from the view, sunlight and fresh air, while the office leases merge with life on the street. This is basically emphasized by the shape of 8 House which is literally ‘hoisted up’ in the North East corner and ‘squeezed down’ at the South West corner, allowing light and air to enter the court yard in the middle.
’This is our take on creative, experimental architecture, which surprises and calls for a life based on a sense of community. We have actually elevated the shared facilities around the height axis, so that gardens, trees and the system of paths follow the body of the structure all the way to the roof. On the rooftop, eleven stories up, these shared spaces culminate in a combined ‘mountain path’ and rooftop garden. From here, you can enjoy the view of Kalvebod Fælled’s nature resort’, says Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG.
8 House’ 50,000 m2 accommodates 475 residential units. The base consists of 10,000 m2 businesses, spread out at street level alongside the surrounding main streets, and at the Northern court yard that houses an office building. 8 House is partly for rent housing and partly residential property varying from 65 to 144 m2.
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