Photo: Janne Klerk

The brand new residential area with a wide array of building types and varying heights is still waiting for everyday life to leave its mark. But the neighborhood on the harborfront is full of history, light and new architecture.

Construction on Havnevigen at the southern part of Islands Brygge has rapidly increased in the past years. The master plan for the area dates back to 2006, but before anything was set in motion, the financial crisis hit and the project was put on hold.

But now this urban residential area is coming together with nine different firms contributing. A variety of high-end apartments and houses are built on the former industrial ground.

Mangor & Nagel’s 15-storey-high Bryggeblomsten is, with its tall, narrow, flower-like profile, one of the most noteworthy new buildings on Islands Brygge, in fierce competition with Arkitema’s three round towers.

Meanwhile, the architects at Vandkunsten took inspiration from the Potato Row Houses (Kartoffelrækkerne) low-rise, high-density human scale when building their townhouses, Byhusene.

The nearby day care centre is inspired by seagulls and the harbour and has splashes of colour that mimic nature and the water.

Even though one apartment after the other has been sold, Islands Brygge South, like other newly constructed areas, struggles with a lack of life and culture – a problem that leading Danish architect Jan Gehl says is about the so-called city forgetting to think about the people in it and needing to focus on senses instead of scale. Perhaps its planned artificial sandy beach and lagoon will eventually add to sociality and coherence.