Nordhavn: Sustainable city of the future

Urban spaces

Photo: Rasmus Hjortshøj - COAST / COBE
 

Scandinavia’s largest and most ambitious urban development project to date. Vacant industrial buildings and land are being transformed into a new sustainable urban district with a pedestrian- and bike-friendly infrastructure.

Conceived to meet Copenhagen’s future need for housing, the industrial area of Nordhavn now gleams with purpose and promise, on a mission to become a ‘sustainable city of the future’.

Work here began in 2009 and for a time it was little more than a colossal construction site. But buildings like The Silo, Kanonhuset, Havnehuset and Frihavnstårnet now house residents, while businesses occupy dynamic structures like Portland Towers, converted twin cement silos whose cladding echoes the Øresund sound’s tones.

Redeveloped warehouses and shimmering new buildings blend styles, sizes and heights on fragmented, small-scale plots. All this is criss-crossed by new canals showing Nordhavn’s special connection to the water as well as a planned marina. The area also boasts superior eco credentials. Buildings and the area’s energy supply are environmentally friendly. Greenery is used creatively, as residential roofs are carpeted with plants and at the playground-topped car park Konditaget Lüders.

A ‘five-minute city’ of small hops between housing, work, day care, transport, recreation and shopping amenities, Nordhavn actively champions journeys on foot, bike or public transport. New initiatives include two Metro stations opening in 2020 and a ‘super bikeway’ to the city.

Fun facts:

  • 2150 Nordhavn is not just Denmark’s newest zip code, it’s also Denmark’s most expensive, with an average price per square meter of approximately DKK 58,000.
  • The name Kanonhuset (The Cannon House) has two explanations. The first is that the building is “kanongodt”, which literally translates to “cannon good” and means really good. Also, the building is located on the same grounds where Riffelsyndikatet previously manufactured firearms and cannons.

Close by:

  • Sundmolen is home to a veritable mecca of architect practices, including COBE, Vilhelm Lauritzen, Gottlieb Paludan and Lendager Group – with Bjarke Ingels Group soon to join them. In collaboration with Depanneur, the architects of COBE have opened a cafe in their offices located at Orientkaj 4. Guests can enjoy a coffee and have a look at architecture during the cafe’s opening hours of 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.
  • At the base of The Silo, an exhibition by CPH City & Port Development entitled “Heavens and Seas!” showcases the master plan and future of Nordhavn. The exhibition is open Thursday to Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.
  • A must-see for anyone visiting Nordhavn is Konditaget, a rooftop recreational space atop the Lüders parking garage. Konditaget is open daily from 7 am to 10 pm.
  • You will find an array of exciting new sustainable urban development initiatives in the Århusgade neighborhood. EnergyLab Nordhavn (http://www.energylabnordhavn.com/) is the first Danish metropolitan laboratory, where 12 partners are conducting research and demonstrating the technological solutions of tomorrow. The lab is dedicated to creating an energy system that can be converted to renewable energy while still functioning when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining.

Area

Nordhavn

Architect

Cobe
Polyform
SLETH

Client

By & Havn
Københavns Kommune

Engineer

Rambøll

Built

2017