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Copenhagen's new harbor-front

With the opening of the Kalvebod Waves along Copenhagen’s harbour-front, a central part of the inner harbour has finally become both publicly accessible and attractive. The new public space on the water gives the harbour a new human dimension as a recreational space in the centre of the city.

Historically this part of the harbour was devoted to industrial activities. In the 1980s and 90s, the city sold the land, and the area was developed into a mono-programmed harbour-front, lacking urbanistic and architectural qualities. The quay area was left barren, creating a windy environment devoid of any public life.

When addressing this infamously dreary and desolated side of the harbour, the URBAN AGENCY's architectural team chose to focus on three key design aspects: urban continuity, better utilizing the site's sunny locations and bringing life to the harbour front over the course of the entire day. Since the quay only has fantastic sun conditions until the early afternoon, a shadow study of the large buildings along the promenade was conducted to better understand how enhance the area's the public life after working hours.

The Kalvebod Waves project consists of two new piers located in the shadow-free zones of the harbour which act as active ‘islands’ on the water. The project connects these islands to the surrounding urban network with two bridges, seamlessly linking the new piers to the city’s existing infrastructure. Moreover, together the bridges and piers create two enclosed water-basins for diverse water sports. The Kalvebod Waves establish an opportunity for citizens and visitors alike to explore the waterfront from different levels and enjoy the amazing views across the harbour. Visitors are invited to take a stroll along the waving pier, jump on a boat-tour, rent a kayak at the kayak-hotel, enjoy a coffee in the container shops, or simply sit and bask in a new, lively and attractive water-front experience.

Project: Kalvebod Wave
Size: 4,200m²
Location: Kalvebod Brygge, Copenhagen Harbour, Denmark
Budget: 7m Euro
Client: Copenhagen Municipality
Collaborators: Urban Agency, JDS
Type: Open competition
Status: Completion 2013

Team: Henning Stüben, Andrew Griffin, Dorte Børresen
Urban Agency


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