BLOX: A Provocation on the Waterfront

Culture

Rasmus Hjortshøj

Fans call BLOX a must-see and love the many different activities the building has to offer. Haters call it a “disgrace” and a “real eyesore”.

The architects from Dutch firm OMA are not afraid to provoke, and with BLOX they have attracted a lot of attention and lit a fire under the public debate.  The bottle-green building with its many stacked boxes rouses the passions of fans and haters alike. But regardless of how you feel about BLOX, one thing is certain, the building has breathed new life into an otherwise desolate part of the city. 

The stacked boxes call to mind images of the shipping containers that once lined the waterfront, while the green hues of the facade are both a reflection of the harbor waters and a tribute to Copenhagen’s copper-clad towers. 

BLOX was built both over and under a vital traffic artery that literally passes through the building. Pedestrians can move through the building via a passageway under the road, which makes it possible to walk from the city to the waterfront and jump in the harbor without having to cross the busy road.

With BLOX, Realdania wanted to create a meeting place for both Copenhageners and tourists – as well as a hub for urban development. In addition to showcasing exhibitions for Danish Architecture Center, BLOX is home to Danish Design Centre and BLOXHUB – a co-working space for startups, established companies and organizations working within sustainable urban development. The building also features private residences, a design shop and a gym. From the café at the top of BLOX, you get a fantastic view of the entire inner harbor. 

Area

City Centre

Architect

OMA

Client

Realdania

Engineer

COWI
Arup

Built

2018