Copenhagen Gallery


The Danish philantropic association Realdania are building BLOX to generate new life on the waterfront and strengthen the connection between the inner city and Copenhagen’s harbour.

In many ways the waterfront area between the Black Diamond and Langebro has been overlooked. There is little life there, and the waterfront is cut off from the city by the heavy traffic on the Christians Brygge approach road.

This is exactly what BLOX intends to remedy. Together with the conversion of Vester Voldgade into a light, action-packed city street, BLOX will transform the last remnants of the deserted car park next to the water into a lively urban area. BLOX, which was formally known as Bryghusprojektet, is financed by the Danish philantropic association Realdania and built by its subsidary Realdania Byg.The Dutch architecture practice OMA, with Rem Koolhaas, have been entrusted with the realisation of Realdania's project on the brewery site.                                        

A multifunctional building

BLOX will house the Danish Architecture Centre with exhibition spaces, a café and bookshop, as well as flats, offices, shops, a restaurant and playground. The various functions will be intermingled as much as possible to guarantee a dynamic in the building. The Danish Architecture Centre's public areas in the building will be positioned to create physical contact with the building's other functions.


A building to create urban life

The building has been designed with the intention of generating urban life in the area. An urban "engine", in which building, plazas, teeming people, restaurant and café all come together at the top of the building, while the traffic runs right through the building, and to and from the mechanical parking system.

BLOX will also include a charming, new city square, the location of which will shield and demarcate Søren Kierkegaards Plads, making it a much more inviting place to be in, and perfect for events and cultural activities.

A place to play in

Children and young people will be a natural segment of the building's users, so the building includes an urban playground, catering for all ages in all weathers. The urban playground will be open to everyone and can also be used by the area's child care centres.

Subterranean entrance

One of the building's most distinctive and special elements is invisible from the outside. One part of the new public square facing the city makes a gentle transition into a 15-20 metre-wide passageway, through which pedestrians can move under the building and the intense traffic, across to the other side of the building on the waterfront.

To inject life into and up into the building, the main entrances to all functions are located in this urban passageway. The apmphitheatre-esque construction of this new, subterranean public space will be used as a concert venue, for big-screen film showings and for parts of the Danish Architecture Centre's exhibitions.

BLOX is financed by the Danish philantropic association Realdania and built by its subsidary Realdania Byg.

Thursday, January 03, 2013 / By Kasper Egeberg

Last updated Friday, January 15, 2016