Orientkaj Station: Connector Between Neighborhoods


© Rasmus Hjortshøj, Coast

In the midst of Nordhavn’s old port industry stands Orientkaj metro station – an elevated railway station – which is set to connect a brand new district, Nordhavn, with the rest of Copenhagen.

Orientkaj metro station in Nordhavn is Brutalist with finesse. The station building was designed by the Danish architectural firm Cobe, which is also behind the master plan for the entire Nordhavn area. As the current terminus in the district, the metro station rises above Orient Basin and acts as a prototype for Nordhavn’s future station buildings.

Clear Inspiration from the Surroundings

The station’s construction is striking and innovative: it is shaped like a large shipping container, held up by the claws of two massive concrete cranes – naturally inspired by Nordhavn’s historic port industry. Its oversized crane skeleton, tightly mirrored composition, and industrial material choice make the construction both brutal and impressive, and it seamlessly blends into the raw harbor surroundings and modern high-rises.

The metro station’s main house – the container – is clad in aluminum plates, whose grooved surface adds a human scale to the large building body. In addition, curved corners and a fine, white mosaic cladding on the station’s sculptural stairs and in the building’s interior create a sensitivity that softens the hefty expression.

View and Entrance

The station’s glass partition stretches all the way around the building’s core. This allows all travelers and waiting passengers to enjoy the view over Orient Basin.
The metro station is part of M4, a branch of the City Ring, which runs from Copenhagen Central Station to Østerport and along the way stops at Nordhavn’s two metro stations, Nordhavn and Orientkaj. Close to the station, there is also a quay – or a stop, if you will – for the harbor bus, which sails travelers all the way south through Copenhagen harbor.

Near Orientkaj Metro Station

In the evening, the station building lights up as a lantern for the area. It also creates a natural access point to Nordhavn, one of the largest and most ambitious urban development projects to date. Although it is a long way off before the project is completely finished, something new is constantly sprouting from the ground, and many attractions such as Copenhagen International School and Konditaget Lüders, which offers an impressive view over all of Nordhavn and the rest of Copenhagen. Orientkaj Metro Station is interesting architecture in itself, but also an excellent starting point for exploring a new part of the city.