Building 90 on Holmen

By Kirsten Kiser

Bygning 90 Holmen, Søren Robert Lund
Søren Robert Lund
 

With its distinct architecture and location Building 90, a former U-boat assembly-plant, contributes to the preservation of the unique atmosphere on Holmen.

The design of the new headquarters for a multimedia business involved the conversion of the U-boat assembly plant, built during the first half of the 20th century, and the addition of two smaller connecting buildings. The concept behind the design was to create flexible open workstations, respecting individual needs, and to promote communication between co-workers.

Lund used the symmetry of the old E-shaped building, arranged around a central staircase tower, as a contrast to the design of the new additions. Both additions are modern interpretations of industrial architecture with their glass and steel facades. The main entrance and canteen are located in the new buildings that both have roof terraces.

The building is entered from a new waterfront plaza paved with pale-colored asphalt. In the conversion of the interior Lund has kept the feeling of the former U-boat plant by exposing heavy details and using industrial materials.

To preserve the experience of the tremendous volume of the assembly-hall, the two new floors, constructed at a shipyard, are designed as hanging decks and literally slid into place. To emphasize the “hanging deck” feeling and the 14-meter ceiling height, open spaces are left between the floors and the exterior walls. The former canal that extended into the space has been filled with concrete.

The Traverse Crane, built to lift over 20 metric tons, has been preserved and renovated with all of its characteristic elements.

Flexible and mobile partitions are used between the workstations, elevators, and staircases on the two new decks and the ground floor. The wood and linoleum floors, steel ceiling and staircases reflect the history of Building 90 and Holmen.