Kvarterhuset: Neighbourhood Centre
An old industrial building in Amager has been carefully restored and given a new extension built on poles, giving warmth to the surroundings.
Kvarterhuset, Neighbourhood Centre is located in a former factory building built in 1880, and the renovation was part of the overall urban renewal project in the area around the street Holmbladsgade.
A wide range of the building’s future users were consulted in connection with the renovation. In addition to a library, a youth club, a sports club and an assembly hall, the building is also home to some of the neighborhood’s associations and volunteer networks.
Kvarterhuset’s director Steen Christensen is very satisfied with the building: “Kvarterhuset has evolved into a well-functioning base for local democracy and networks in the neighborhood, in addition to being a successful cultural center. There is room here for inspired people to meet and develop new projects, and they can arrange conferences and debates here as well. We also have room for workshops, art exhibitions, concerts and children’s theater,” says Steen Christensen.
A clubhouse in the trees
The renovation of Kvarterhuset was designed by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter. The biggest challenge in the renovation was to create more space for activities and public meeting spaces with a relatively limited budget. The goal was achieved by stripping the interior of the old factory to create space for a spacious and multipurpose three-story foyer with a cafe and entrance to the library.
The building was then expanded with an eye-catching extension that is home to an assembly hall. Like a clubhouse in the trees, the assembly hall is on the second floor in a “forest” of sloping concrete columns. The room’s walls consist of large glass windows built around a wide wooden grate, giving an appearance reminiscent of oversized shelves. The entrance to the hall is via a footbridge from the first floor of the original building. The combination of light, glass and the airy interior wood structures create a unique and slightly floating sensation when you stand in the hall. In her review in of Kvarterhuset, architect Merete Ahnfeldt-Mollerup described the hall as ‘one of Copenhagen’s finest new spaces’.