Vesterport Station: The Future Stops Here
Politicians and investors want to build up and out across the subterranean railroad pit near the small station, but the area is proving more steadfast than expected.
When you walk from the SAS hotel to the attractive residences of Vestersøhus, you pass the smallest and humblest product of Copenhagen’s early modernists. Vesterport Station basically comprises one small building with underground railroad tracks and platforms.
It was ultra-modern in its day, as the first station with an escalator. There was only one, which alternated between up and down, so passengers hand to wait until the stairs switched to the right direction. People were probably less averse to waiting back then. It was also very modern to have a newsstand alongside ticket sales and a waiting area. Today, the newsstand occupies most of the building. The station sign’s lettering is original and has now achieved almost iconic status.
Both the railroad pit here and the one at Copenhagen Central Station have long been of huge interest to investors. It they could only be covered, it would open up thousands of new square meters for building at the central locations.
But it won’t be that easy. If there is one thing that can rile Copenhageners, it is high-rise buildings and foreign investors in central Copenhagen. It would take an extremely unique project to win their favor.
- Vesterport Station was designed by the senior architect at DSB, the Danish State Railways K.T. Seest;and was inaugurated in 1934
- The building was listed as a historical site in 2004, but the minister for culture at the time objected, because giving it protected status would impede any new construction plans. And so the historical status was withdrawn again. In 2012, the Danish Cultural Heritage Agency decided to list the site.
- Vesterport Station is Denmark’s seventh-largest station, even though there are only two platforms.
- Vesterport was one of Copenhagen’s four city gates back when the city was still fortified by a wall and moat. It was actually situated where Copenhagen’s city hall square – Rådhuspladsen – is located today and was torn down in 1857.
- Opposite Vesterport Station is a distinctive modernist building, which is also called Ved Vesterport – meaning “At Vesterport”. It was built by Ole FalkentorpPovl Baumann, and is clad almost entirely in copper.
If you enjoy exquisite delicacies, interior design and fashion, we recommend that you continue along Gl. Kongevej, which extends away from Copenhagen city center. The street is lined with pricey little shops featuring all kinds of specialty products.
Take the train to the next station, Nørreport Station, for a look at how the architecture of the past is inspiring the train stations of the present. Nørreport is neighbor to the Torvehallerne food hall as well as several parks and gardens where you can take a break.