Copenhagen Gallery


Named for its characteristic A-shaped ground plan, the A-house went from being a working man’s hotel to a creative community building before becoming luxury service apartments.

Luxury apartments for business people, urban cosmopolitans and well-off tourists. With a high level of service, fine communal facilities and a magnificent view from Scandinavia's largest rooftop terrace.

This, in a nutshell, is the recipe for the concept of Stay Copenhagen which in the spring of 2010 opened its doors in the old building at Islands Brygge, known until then as the A-house. However, before then the building had served as a working man's hotel, a post-office and had housed a creative working community.

It all started out in the sixties. Named for its characteristic A-shaped ground plan, the A-house was built as a working man's hotel in connection with the legendary soybean cake factory at Islands Brygge. Subsequently the building housed offices used by the postal services and auxiliary studios belonging to the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. However, the A-house stood empty, as well, for long stretches of time, owing to its isolated position on the edge of Islands Brygge.

The creative people arrive

As town planning reached Islands Brygge, investors started taking an interest in the area, which seemed, to the Copenhageners, progressively nearer the centre of town.

The A-house was purchased by the real estate company Walls but was not immediately turned into luxury residences although that was the general trend at the time. From 2003, during project development, the building was rented out for very little to the city's many creative artists, musicians and other creative people who could find plenty of space here, cheaply and close to town.

The concept met with huge success and the leases were snapped up in less than a month. The painter Tal R, the musician Anders Trentemøller and the designer Henrik Vibskov, are just a few of the people who grasped the chance of working in the A-house which in no time at all also became a popular night spot and cultural space in Copenhagen. As the building was due for a major makeover anyway, there was free scope for letting personal taste dictate the interior decoration.

From creative haunt to exquisite luxury

In 2006 the actual renovation project got under way. The run-down building was stripped down to the concrete structure, restored and converted to 179 serviced apartments - a sort of apartment hotel with amenities like a café, fitness centre, welcome lounge, cleaning service and Scandinavia's largest rooftop terrace for common use.

The concept is dubbed STAY, and the idea is to create apartments geared to contemporary urban cosmopolitans, well-off, busy people on the move paying Copenhagen either a short or long-term visit. For this reason the apartments are variations on a sophisticated theme that would not normally form part of a typical apartment building: One variation is the big one-room apartment sporting a shower in the middle of the room, another is the apartment with a terrace running the length of the facade allowing for a first-hand experience of the elements. There is also a series of more classically designed - but still exclusive - residences aimed at families, which combine aesthetic and practical considerations.

The furniture manufacturer HAY is in charge of interior decoration and has achieved a totally modern look for the house which is happily without any of the well-worn and oft-repeated Danish design pieces.

Modern communal living

Apart from apartments and communal areas STAY also has an office floor where small companies may set up their offices and make use of the services the house offers.

The general idea has been to create a framework for shared living in a modern working community. The lodgers thus have the possibility of sharing common activities and facilities - while at the same time being left private space, should they so wish.

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014