Jægersborg Water Tower – From club to weapons heist


Photo: Jens Markus Lindhe

The Blekingegade Gang stole weapons in the now modernized water tower.

For more than 50 years, the water tower in Jægersborg, with its characteristic weather vane, has delivered more than just water to the local community.

When the water tower opened in 1955, it became a symbol of the tremendous growth the Jægersborg area experienced after World War II.  The tower was designed by professor and architect Edward Thomsen, and with its hill-top location it became a natural landmark in the new residential area. Not everyone appreciated the tower when it opened; the 3-meter-high weather vane at the top was particularly contentious. One newspaper went so far as to call it “an affront to good taste”. 

Blekingegade  Gang stole from the tower

The 45-meter-high tower is made from reinforced concrete and can hold 2,000 cubic meters of water in its tank. The original plan was to fill the nine stories below the water tank with apartments. However, it was feared that the sound from the water tower would echo uncomfortably throughout the tower. Instead, a youth club was placed on the lower three stories, while the rest of the tower was used as an archive and storage facility for the municipality and civil defense forces.

In 1973, a group known as the Blekingegade Gang stole machine guns from the civil defense weapons depot in the tower. The heist was part of preparations for later actions from the political group.

Penthouse youth housing

In 2006, the plans to place apartments in the tower were rekindled. Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter was tasked with transforming the top five stories into affordable youth housing. To break up the monotony of the tower’s shape, the distinctive bay windows  were installed on the exterior of the building, creating new geometrical spaces and letting in more light. Room was also created on the exterior for three terraces to disrupt the cylindrical shape. At the center of the tower, there are three communal areas. The lower three stories are still used by the Jægersborg After-School Club.