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.
HALFDANSGADE 8 in Islands Brygge, Denmark by Danielsen Architecture
September 26th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Danielsen Architecture
At Halfdansgade 8, in the heart of Islands Brygge, lies an office building surrounded by restored factory buildings and dense apartment blocks. This new building unfolds in the tension field between Hans Tausens Church and an old factory building, which once housed a cigar manufacturer.
At Halfdansgade the numerous architectural typologies of Islands Brygge are brought together, while the history of the neighbourhood is clearly reflected in the functional composition of the buildings. Halfdansgade and the surrounding area is one of the most densely developed areas in Copenhagen.
The industrial legacy is articulated in the voluminous brick buildings and their classical Copenhagen roofs. In unison the blocks at Islands Brygge constitute a unique and characteristic townscape.
With the aim of creating a building both modern and classical in its expression, the developer C. W. Obelcommissioned Danielsen Architecture to design an office building at Halfdansgade 8.
Due to the oblong structure of Halfdansgade 8, an alleyway is formed along the facade facing the church. Hence the pedestrian is lead towards Snorregade alongside the church gardens. On the eastern side of the building, adjacent to the old cigar factory, another passageway is created, inviting the visitor into the open courtyard of a large block of flats, connecting to Snorresgade through pathways and gates.
In contrast to the long and closed facades of the neighbourhood,Halfdansgade 8 was designed with a folding pitched roof and large glass facades that open up towards both sides of the building,thus dissolving the boundary between the indoors and outdoors. The folding roof mimics the shape of the housing blocks, completing its shape in a significant glass motif towards the street.In order to obtain an unbroken surface, the glass facades are created as curtain-walls, strengthening the impression of an unbroken surface.The distinctive roof shape – the slender folding line – is covered with tombak, an auburn copper alloy, which, as it patinates, will take a black-brown character. The tombakfits well into the context of Halfdansgade, where the predominant red brick facades promote a warm atmosphere.
On the south-facingglass facade the windows all have integrated solar screening as well as highly reflective double-glazing. As a result, the facade appears opaque during daytime, reflecting the life of the city, while at night the building becomes transparent, exposing the life inside. In contrast, the northern facade is kept open allowing daylight to pour into the office spaces. By having two large glass facades, the overall impression of the building is dominated by the transparency, dissolving the large surfaces. Due to the exposure of the floor structures, the observer is offered a new understanding of the scale of the building. In the same way the user of the building is given the opportunity to follow the cycle of the seasons and the traveling daylight through the glass which stretches the full height of the building.
The interior is currently structured as a series of connected spaces; however a flexible layout ensures that the building can be used differently in the future. By making all of the walls movable, the layout can be tailored: ranging from large open office spaces to small enclosed cubicles. Also, the special windows contribute to a good climate profile. In order to sustain the high flexibility of the layout, all cables are run underneath the floor.
The top floor is characterised by a vaulted ceiling expressing a unique spatial experience.
Currently the building houses a single tenant and it functions as office headquarters, with a reception and conference facilities at ground level. It can nevertheless be split up into multiple tenancies. The building shares its canteen, located in the neighbouring building, as well as its parking facilities with the old cigar factory.
As a tribute to the typical Copenhagen roof profile, the new office building breaks with the modern trend of grand, glazed office buildings. Looking beyond the two glass facades, the idiom of the building reflects and fits into the context of the mixed industrial quarter.
With its characteristic folding roof and warm patina the building settles into its context, embracing the heritage and atmosphere of the quarter. As a whole the building reveals a consciousness and consideration towards its context, nevertheless expressed through a modern interpretation which lies different yet familiar in the dense streets of Copenhagen.
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Category: Office Building