Urban Agency

BELLA 3N, 4, 5


The Bellakvarter is the new vibrant mixed-use urban neighbourhood within Copenhagen, built on a vision to seamlessly combine density with a sense of community. Nestled near expansive green spaces and conveniently linked to the city center via the main metro line, the area embodies a harmonious fusion of urban vitality and natural serenity.

Urban Agency's contribution to this dynamic district comes in the form of three distinct buildings – Bella 3N, Bella 4, and Bella 5 – collectively adding over 300 new apartments to the development. These projects not only enhance the area's residential landscape but also foster a close-knit environment within the broader masterplan. Designed as courtyard block buildings, together the three projects are composted of apartment sizes ranging from small (45m²) to large (134m²), offering diverse living opportunities for residents. Each of the designs has worked to prioritize resident well-being by maximizing natural light and creating high quality and inviting outdoor spaces. Situated in the heart of the Bellakvarter, Bella 3N, 4 and 5 hold a key position within the entire masterplan. Programmatically they have been designed to engage with the bustling life of the adjacent street with ground-floor retail and cafes, ensuring a lively atmosphere while maintaining tranquility within the plot’s inner courtyard spaces. This thoughtful balance between urban functionality and residential comfort epitomizes the vision of Bellakvarter's urban and green aspirations.

Bella 3N is positioned on the corner intersecting Ørestads Boulevard, making it one of the main entrances to the neighbourhood. The building’s positioning not only defines and delineates the new public square for the metro but also, with its height, allows Bella 3N to become an eye-catching landmark in the new development. While a variety of building heights characterize the block, black bricks have been chosen for the lower 6 stories in order to create the appearance of a singular sculptural entity from afar. Contrast and flare is added to the architectural project through the addition of an elegant and luminous tower, clad in raw recycled aluminum, that sits atop the most northern corner of the block. The tower’s appearance follows the changing lighting of the day, making Bella 3N a true highlight of the district.

Bella 4 is the second of the three building volumes that line Emma Gads Vej. A key decision was made early on in the design process to adjust the local plan in order to establish a small square in the north of the plot in order to create an active area between buildings. It is this focus on the human scale that has been carried out through the rest of the architectural design. Variation in the height and facade of Bella 4 occurs at least every 40 meters to create a dynamic streetscape. Nevertheless, the building has the appeal of a unified volume created through the use of the same earth-toned base and yellow-white bricks which are applied to the entire building. Light grey window frames and balconies bring a rhythm and playfulness to the coherent building whole. The overall three sided form and orientation of Bella 4 entails that an open south facing courtyard is created with ideal conditions for plantings and people of the building to enjoy.

Bella 5 is the last block in the row of Urban Agency’s contributions to the Bellakvarter. Despite being the largest of all of the three developments, Bella 5 specifically has been designed to bring differentiation to the surrounding streetscape. Varying floor heights, ranging from 3-6 storeys, and coloured facades characterize the building volume. Subdued earth-toned bricks in warm shades of yellow, brown and red, mark smaller building volumes within the whole, allowing easy identification for residents and visitors. For the residents of Bella 5, a calm and reclusive courtyard has also been prioritized. The lush interior world of hedges, trees and varied foliage characterizes the space which has been divided into separate areas for stay and play.

From a more overall perspective, and in line with the visions for the Bellakvarter, all three buildings have taken into great consideration their contribution to creating a green urban environment. Accordingly, all buildings have been designed with green roofs wherever possible. Roof terraces and balconies have been incorporated to a great extent in order to give the residents the opportunity and encouragement to extend their living space to the outdoors. Gardens and courtyards have been designed and planted to support the existing local flora and fauna of the area and to ensure the development of a biodiverse living environment. Planting furthermore has been used to contribute to the making of shaded areas and the overall creation of a good microclimate. Porous surfaces are prioritized to a great extent through the design and especially within courtyard areas where concrete tiles are used in the main areas, and gravel in gathering and play spaces.

Sustainability goals a have had a large influence on the design of the three Bella buildings, as well as the entire Bellakvarter as a whole. Rainwater is handled on site through local street systems, roofs and rain garden solutions. Waste is managed through underground vacuums, minimizing the need for access between the blocks, leaving the space available for planting and recreation. Bricks have been selected for all of the facades for their robust nature, ensuring a long lifespan and little maintenance. These sustainability considerations have lead to Bella 3N and Bella 4 being awarded with the DGNB Gold certification. These projects mark a significant milestone for the Bellakvarter as the first in the whole development to receive this recognition. Such is an achievement that reflects each project’s commitment to and holistic understanding of sustainability that encapsulates aspects of economy, processes, environment, and social factors.

Bella 3N: 7.977m²

Housing: 7626m² / Retail: 351m²

101 apartment units (range 45-120m²)

Construction period: 2021-2023

Certification: DGNB Gold


Bella 4: 5.479 m² (housing)

81 apartment units (range 52-87 m2)

Construction period: 2021-2022

Certification: DGNB Gold

Photo credit: Egernsund Wienerberger, Niels Nygaard


Bella 5: 9.748 m² (housing)

135 apartment units (range 54-133 m²)

Construction period: 2020-2021

Photo credit: Kirstine Mengel


Project: Residential

Location: Ørested, Copenhagen, Denmark

Client: Bellakvarter Projektselskab A/S

Collaborators: Sangberg, MOE A/S, V8Construction

Type: Commission

Status: Completed Fall 2023

Team: Henning Stüben, Heechan Park, Thomas Walcher, Richard Teeling

Urban Agency


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