Kampsportens Hus: A Lantern in a Whirl of Everyday Life


© Jens M. Lindhe

Kampsportens Hus is like a large Chinese rice lamp that has landed in Copenhagen. Here, the house lights up and instills tranquility in the middle of the bustling city.

With Kampsportens Hus, Copenhagen has gained a gathering place for Asian martial arts. Amid Nørrebro’s multicultural whirl and everyday life, the house illuminates and invites inside for taekwondo, karate, and Thai boxing.

The building is designed by the architectural firm Entasis. It is meticulously adapted to its surroundings – its proportions mirror the adjacent property, an old transformer station. And with a terraced backside, the building shows consideration for the residential property behind it. But Kampsportens Hus also has a distinct architectural identity and uniqueness that adds a whole new layer to the composite street scene in Nørrebro.

Room for Balance, Focus, and Peace

Entasis found inspiration for this striking edifice in the East Asian homelands of martial arts. The façade’s rhythmic division into mullions and its black-and-white color play mimic the traditional Japanese rice paper doors. And when the house is illuminated from within, it can somewhat resemble a large, angular rice paper lamp.

Perhaps the strongest narrative of the house lies in its interpretation of the concentration and presence that Asian martial arts techniques require. When one steps inside – in socks, naturally – one senses that body and mind here are interconnected. The building’s interior is a sleek universe of concrete and wood with high folding doors and punctual red details. Six martial arts halls – or dojos – with built-in lockers and city views form the framework for martial arts training of strength, balance, and focus. Suddenly, tranquility is instilled in the midst of the bustling city.

Near Kampsportens Hus

Nearby, you’ll find Nordbro, which towers over the district as a home for about 700 students. Behind the tall residential tower, you’ll discover Mimersparken, squeezed in between the railways and providing outdoor space for many of the area’s residents. If you venture further north along Rentemestervej, you’ll come to Dorteavej. Here, BIG has reaped substantial recognition for affordable rental housing in the otherwise worn Nordvest neighborhood. If you turn back towards the city along Nørrebrogade, you’ll encounter some of the city’s most interesting outdoor spaces: Superkilen and Nørrebroparken.


Copenhagen, Nordvest




Henry Jensen


Einar Kornerup A/S


Copenhagen Municipality