by | 31. Jul 2012

Cultural | Feature | Mixed use | Residential

Image courtesy OMA

OMA recently presented their concept for a new multi-use building on the harbor front in the historic center of Copenhagen.

The building will contain new spaces for DAC, the Danish Architecture Centre, as well as offices, a restaurant and café, 22 residences, parking and public areas.

Image courtesy OMA

Situated between the city center and the waterfront the site, named for the Royal Brewery located there from 1767-1960, possesses one of Copenhagen’s few remaining opportunities to connect the two.

To capitalize on the site’s potential the building introduces the concept of the “urban motor” actively reuniting the city to its harbor.

Image courtesy OMA

Surrounded by historically significant and protected buildings on three sides of the site, the surrounding context is highly sensitive to the building’s volume.

The urban context made us interested in a large footprint for the building, and in order to fit in the requested program, a solid volume became the base for the design.

Opposed to the typical stacked section, where building programs remain autonomous, the program “heap” can create unexpected and unpredictable situations where each program is made aware of its coexistence with the others.


The various program elements are stacked in a seemingly random order. The public program, the urban routes and the DAC, reach into the heart of the building and create a broad range of interaction between the different users.


Image courtesy OMA

Image courtesy OMA

The DAC program is organized as a vertical sequence through the building. Starting below ground and moving upwards to the cafe with its view over all of Copenhagen, each program is given a unique position and quality making a varied progression through the building.

Looking out over the city of Copenhagen, the DAC Auditorium reconnects the visitor to the city.

Image courtesy OMA


Image courtesy OMA

As an extension of the urban passage, the surrounding site is reformed into a series of public spaces. The north is small in scale and designed as an intimate public plaza. Along the water, the long and narrow strip is populated with urban activities further intensifying the population of the site. A playground concept, with different typologies of playgrounds, is distributed over the entire site.

Image courtesy OMA

Image courtesy OMA

By providing a connection under the busy waterfront road, where entrances to the different program elements are strategically located, the site becomes both a destination and a connector at the hinge of the waterfront and the “entrance” to the city.

Image courtesy OMA