Parking House Ejler Bille, by Copenhagen-based JAJA Architects, is situated in the developing area of Ørestad, sometimes referred to as “the largest crossroad in Scandinavia.” From its canal-side location on the island of Amager, it is in close proximity to the Royal Arena and Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup and moments south of the city center. JAJA Architects’ human-centered design approach and deft material choices and craftsmanship have transformed this carpark—a typology often considered as simply a banal infrastructural by-product—into an aesthetically rich and architectonically sympathetic landmark.
JAJA Architects was founded in Copenhagen in 2008 and is led by Jan Tanaka, Kathrin Gimmel and Jakob Christensen. In recent years, the practice has emerged as one of Scandinavia’s leading lights in the smart mobility space. Considered in terms of this trajectory, JAJA Architects’ façade for Parking House Ejler Bille reconciles infrastructural scale with human scale, simultaneously investing the often overlooked and under-designed carpark typology with inherent aesthetic and functional value.
JAJA Architects’ design for Parking House Ejler Bille is comprised of four façades of corten steel and intricate brickwork. The upper areas of the façades consist of large panels of corten, denoting the scale of the carpark infrastructure contained within, whilst lower areas utilize a variety of brick masonry patterns, including repeated breeze block-style apertures to emphasize the human interface, as well as framed ledges for people to nestle in and rest whilst waiting to meet friends.
JAJA Architects suggest that the façade for Parking House Ejler Bille “is also designed to provide a space for building and nature to interact.” This interaction is facilitated by the patchwork of framed, stretched corten steel, upon which vines have been planned to grow along. Behind JAJA Architects’ rich and intriguing façade design, it is easy to forget that Parking House Ejler Bille, in fact, contains an eight-story, 21-meter high carpark, with room for 600 vehicles.
Just like JAJA Architects first foray into the carpark typology, the award-winning Park ‘n’ Play in Nordhavn, Parking House Ejler Bille is rumored to be in the running for ArchDaily’s Building of the Year award. In a similar fashion, these two projects humanize this often hypocritically derided typology. As JAJA Architects’ Jan Tanaka writes, “While we wait for the future of mobility to make parking houses obsolete, they should also be for humans.”
Project: Parking House Ejler Bille
Location: Ørestad, Copenhagen, Denmark
Program: Carpark façade
Client: CPH City & Port Development
Architects: JAJA Architects
Design team: Jan Tanaka, Jakob S. Christensen, Kathrin Gimmel, Jonathan Hansen, Giacomo Pizzo, Peter Jørgensen
Collaborators: Max Bögl Group, Skanding, AI Architects and Engineers