Seaplane Hangar H53

by | 15. Aug 2012

Extention/ redesign | Offices | Project

Photo: arcspace


The H53 Seaplane Hangar is located at the former Holmen naval base, on the last landfill project, Magretheholmen, that was established in 1916.  The hangar, built in 1921 from a design by architect Chr. Olrich, is one of the first pre-stressed concrete structures of its size in Denmark.

The hangar was primarily used to house naval aircrafts and later by the artillery school. In 1972 it underwent a renovation, for use as a military workshop, where the original large entrance gate was replaced by a smaller folding door, and wood-wool cement ceiling panels were installed.

When the seaplane hangar functioned as originally planned it could be opened in its entire width by the large wooden sliding doors. This possibility has been re-established by installing glass sliding doors that open onto a large wooden deck.


Photo: Jens Lindhe


The concept behind the architect’s design was not to restore the landmark building to its original condition, but to allow its history to be expressed in peaceful coexistence with the new additions. The aim was to create a workplace where the entire staff could work in the same space, as part of a company unity, while still respecting their individual private needs.  It was important to promote communication between employees and at the same time give high priority to recreation and contemplation.


Photo: Jens Lindhe


The original walls in the hangar were removed and the entire floor area covered with a varnished birch plywood. Three fireproofed steel constructions, the tower, platform and pool, form a spatial framework to support new split-level decks. The decks are also covered with  varnished birch plywood on all visible surfaces to appear as large wooden planes.

Parachute fabric curtains are hung in the uppermost steel elements of the structure to enable rapid changes in the spatial context. The curtains can also be used as a projection screen to review the material the company produces.


Photo: arcspace


The former lube pit has been covered with a glass floor which can also be used as a projection surface.  To signal that the hangar is located on a relatively new landfill the glass is lit from below by blue fluorescent lights.


Photo: Jens Lindhe


The reception area, reception counter and guest lounge are integrated in the tower construction. From the reception area there is access to the decks above. Three glass-enclosed meeting rooms, with a view of the hangar space and the city moat towards the green areas of Holmen, are located above the lounge and hearth area. Three glass-enclosed meeting rooms, with a view of the hangar space and the city moat towards the green areas of Holmen, are located above the lounge and hearth area.


Photo: Jens Lindhe


In the “hammock-tree”,  a lounge above the meeting room, a number of hammocks have been hung between the oblique steel columns for staff and guests to rest and look out over the surroundings.


Photo: Jens Lindhe


Another lounge is furnished with large two- and three-seater  sack chairs and low-placed lighting fixtures.


Photo: Jens Lindhe


The canteen/café, located toward the building’s west end, seats seventy guests in a calm “slow” seating group or a “fast” seating group with high tables and bar stools.


Photo: Jens Lindhe


A large meeting room is located adjacent to the canteen so that the two spaces can be used together for large meetings, courses and other events. The meeting room is built as a light structure with walls of sandblasted glass on three sides and clear glass on the side facing the central pool to enable the presentations to be projected on the curtain behind the pool. The outdoor areas are treated as a unified graphic whole that is visible from the air when leaving or approaching Copenhagen airport.


Photo: arcspace The Model



LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTDorte Mandrup Arkitekter
Henrik Jørgensen Landskabsarkitekter