August 15, 2009


Design for a new city district in Copenhagen

For imagining a new future for Nordhavnen, it can be helpful to rethink its origin. By looking closely at this strangely shaped peninsula which was used for decades as harbour, one can easily trace the outlines of five ships. But what was here before - the ships or the harbour?

The metaphor of the five ships that can be seen as arks informs in what direction the future city, with its various typologies, has to evolve. By acknowledging the open surface of Nordhavnen as future garden, as possible agriculture land where buildings can blend in, the former harbour area turns into an urban paradise where buildings and nature are in full symbiosis. Nordhavnen is no longer a harbour but transforms into Nord-Have, the garden in the north.

Once the spatial framework is assigned, the ‘cargo’ (= the typologies) can be unshipped and start to flourish. Every typology is carefully chosen to define the individual character of a city quarter and enable thriving city life in symbiosis with the public space. The varieties of buildings reflect the conviction that sustainable living is not a matter of a type but a matter of the level of development in relation to nature

Design Team: Theo Deutinger, Romuald Dehio, Laura Polidoro, Stefan Prins
Supported by: Douwe Beerda