Copenhagen Gallery


The Carlsberg Brewery production plant in Valby was closed down in 2008. The area will be turned into a sustainable city district in the coming years.

The Carlsberg Brewery production plant in Valby was closed down in 2008, with plans to re-emerge as a new sustainable city district with 3,000 housing units, industry and commerce. The conversion of the historical buildings on the old industrial site will follow a plan developed by the firm of architects Entasis.

Entasis has its premises in Sankt Peder Stræde in inner Copenhagen - a neighbourhood containing a mixture of residential, industrial and commercial buildings, densely built-up, with lots of people on the move and streets where bicycles, scooters, skaters and delivery boys share the space in a blend of harmony and chaos. This is the kind of urban environment Entasis wants for the Carlsberg site: a dense city structure with attractive urban spaces, public transport, sustainable solutions for new buildings, and restorations of the existing ones, that adds up to create a sustainable city district.

Density and sustainable energy solutions

The project for the new Carlsberg city district, with its wide views, plentiful light, air and straight streets, points back to classic urban space and away from modernist suburban construction. In addition to a dynamic city life, dense urban structure makes for minimal strain on the environment.

The aim is a comparatively low and dense city that reduces and optimises material use in construction, and a design philosophy where the buildings become individual energy systems in themselves. A number of technical solutions have been integrated to help achieve this, such as efficient insulation, low-energy window glass, heat recirculation and the implementation of renewable energy solutions such as solar heat, solar cells and of wind energy.

The district plan moreover lists a series of key points to help complete the picture of a city district with a rational energy strategy:

•That new buildings are constructed as Class 1 low-energy buildings

•That systems for the harvesting of rainwater from roofs are installed and used for recreational water purposes.

•That roof surfaces, as far as possible, are constructed as green roofs and/or with a gradient suitable for mounting solar cell systems.

•That suitable free spaces are laid with water-permeable surfaces for rainwater to seep down locally.

•That suitable facades on new building are constructed with the mounting of solar cells in mind.

•That mainly natural and/or recyclable materials are chosen for the facades.

More traffic

The transformation of the Carlsberg area from industry to a dense mixed urban area means that traffic will change. It will most likely increase within the boundaries of the district and on the roads that connect Carlsberg and the rest of the city. Motorised traffic, to and from Carlsberg, is expected to amount to something like 17,000 trips per 24 hours. The cars will not dominate the townscape, however, as practically all the 4,500 parking places are to be located underground.

The number of cyclists and travellers using public transport will also increase greatly To encourage the use of public transport neighbouring Enghave Station is to be modernised and moved to Carlsberg, and there will be a new bicycle route connecting Valby with Vesterbro via Carlsberg.

Carlsberg and carbon

The long-term aim is for Carlsberg to become carbon neutral and an ideal example of sustainability in a partly built-up area - there are currently thirteen listed buildings. As a matter of fact, it is exactly the existing building stock that may cause problems in regard to the ambitious carbon plans. Lars Holten, managing director of Carlsberg Ejendomme (Carlsberg Properties), said the following: "We honestly don't know how to carry out the ambitions for carbon neutrality."

Exactly those grand, old buildings are one of the big challenges for the Carlsberg project. New buildings can be made eco-friendly right from the start, but what does one do with a hundred-year-old yeast storage barn?

Quality elements in the new district

The assessment committee which in 2007 commissioned the architects' firm Entasis to develop the Carlsberg of the future made the following statement about the winning entry: "The project does not propose a historical city or the making of Carlsberg into a museum. It is a robust proposal for a modern city with an emphasis on the need for ongoing development."

The winning entry from Entasis rests on five principles or columns: Heritage, the City Spaces, the Axes, the Towers, and Urban Mass.

At present the existing buildings stand isolated in their historical beauty. These buildings must be linked to new buildings and together generate narrow passages and urban spaces. The existing buildings tell an important story, and will in the future form urban spaces for activities open to the public. Even the many Carlsberg cellars will one day be assigned to public use.

The Carlsberg area is intersected by a number of axes that will deal with the traffic flow in the area. All axes begin and end in open spaces, each with an identity of its own.

Finally Carlsberg has a series of towers and prominent landmarks that over time have acquired general recognition. The huge silos, the sheer size of the Elephant's Gate, and Carl's residence at the bottom of Pile Allé are all examples of this.

Great ambitions

Nine tower buildings of various heights will be attached to the main spaces in the city district. The towers will reach a height of 80 metres with a ground plan of max. 350 square metres. The tower buildings will be multi-functional and contain mixed residential and business premises, hotels and small commercial enterprises.

Urban mass is created mainly by town houses in the traditional manner of the Copenhagen and Frederiksberg block structures. Height will be adapted to adjacent areas and the scale of the buildings will be enlarged from two storeys to six or seven.

Read more

In the winning entry from Entasis you may read more about the five columns and the ideas behind the new city district.



The founding of Carlsberg in Valby by J.C. Jacobsen (1811-87)


Carlsberg destroyed by fire, but is rebuilt in the same year


Carlsberg export begins with a trial shipment of beer to England


J.C. Jacobsen constructs a new brewery for his son next to his own. When Carl Jacobsen leases it, the name is changed to Ny (New) Carlsberg.


The Carlsberg Laboratory is founded


The Elephant Gate is built on the Ny Carlsberg site


Carlsberg is appointed purveyor to the Royal Danish Court


Old and New Carlsberg were united under the name Carlsberg Breweries


Carlsberg rationalises energy consumption and constructs an engine room and a power station that supply all of Carlsberg in Valby


Carlsberg's own goods terminal is opened.


The Carlsberg Laboratory is extended to include a modern research centre (Carlsberg Research Center)


Carlsberg decides to move production to Fredericia apart from the Jacobsen House Brewery. An open international ideas competition is announced - 221 entries are received.


The Danish firm of architects Entasis wins the competition


Carlsberg closes down production in Valby at the end of 2008


District plan 432 "Carlsberg II" is adopted on the 29th of January 2009 Phase l, Building section 17, planned building start autumn 2009 Suspended for the time being owing to the financial crisis.


Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014