The Axel Towers are situated in Inner Copenhagen and designed by Danish architects Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects. The towers recently finished construction, which have been on- going since 2013. Inside, the towers house modern offices for law firm Gorrisen Federspiel. On ground level, the towers contain shops, restaurants and a raised garden, all open to the public.
The five circular towers are situated on Axel Square in the city centre and are arranged as a cluster of buildings with space around and in-between the buildings. Since 1881, the site of Axel Towers has housed a dance restaurant, a concert hall, a warehouse and a cinema, all of which have eventually been closed down. The new Axel Towers differentiate themselves from the previous rectangular buildings by being a cluster of several buildings, which, with their circular shape and broad, welcoming staircases, invite the public inside to experience the buildings up close.
With the towers’ circular shapes and varying heights, Axel Towers gets an almost organic appearance, further enhanced by how the towers grow together above street level with concave footbridges. Between the towers, large staircases lead onto the raised urban garden with round benches and vegetation, which is open to the public. In the garden, you are raised above the buzzing streets and can enjoy a view towards the sky between the concave footbridges. The garden becomes a new quiet pocket in the city, with a possibility for pedestrians to settle down on the staircases or garden benches, framed by the towers, columns and vegetation. Pedestrians can also experience the space on their walk through the city as a special, poetic detour.
Despite their untraditional shape and expression, the towers still manage to fit into their urban surroundings due to their metallic brown façade that blends into the existing colour scheme of Copenhagen. The golden façade cladding consists of a mixture between copper and zinc known as tombac. It is a material, which gradually changes its colour and expression over time: from gold to a light brown colour with green shades.
The cladding is constructed as a brise soleil. Apart from its practical sun-shading purpose, the brise soleil also shelters the buildings from the strong winds which typically surround tall buildings. The brise soleil also provides the buildings with a strong aesthetic value, and adds both depth and relief to the building façade.
The four lowest floors of each tower contains shops and public facilities, while the upper floors house modern office environments. In the centre of the buildings, stairs, elevators, secondary rooms and technical shafts are grouped. This leaves space around the winding facades for the offices. The buildings’ circular shape ensures that every workspace gets a maximum of daylight, while the brise soleil prevents the offices of getting more than two hours of direct sunlight during the day.
By being arranged in the middle of the plot, Axel Towers manage to free themselves entirely from the regular city block structure. Thus, the buildings become more than office environments and shops, but a new public destination in Copenhagen, for the benefit for all the city’s citizens and visitors.