Copenhagen Gallery

DR Byen

This multimedia complex is inspired by the North African kasbah.

The Danish Broadcasting Company (DR) has collected all its activities in the capital in a single complex. The media center is divided into four segments designed by different architects and built in stages.

The unified plan was inspired by the North African kasbah. A key element is an indoor street that links the four segments.

Segment 1 is the biggest of the four and holds reception facilities, studios, offices, depots, etc. The building has an open look, with large expanses of glass that give passersby in Ørestad North a view of DR's offices and studios.

Segment 2 houses the news and sports offices. The heart of the building is a large, open room characterized by soft, organic shapes and transparency that lets light in on all the building's workplaces.

Segment 3 is the smallest of the four, where DR's administration and Copenhagen's local radio are based in a building whose main theme is greenery.

Segment 4 is the concert hall, which seats 1,800. It seems simple from the outside: a monumental cobalt-blue cube 45 meters tall. Inside, the building reveals a complex, organic structure whose asymmetry creates outstanding acoustics.

The blue outer shell will serve as a screen in the evening. Live pictures, works of art, and text can be enlarged and projected to create a living wall outside the concert hall.

DR Byen: sustainability

Illustration: Vilhelm Lauritzen Arkitekter




DR Byen (the Danish Broadcasting Corporation's new multimedia centre) was erected with financial support from the EU in an effort to demonstrate how to build a modern large-scale, IT-intensive office building with minimum environmental impact and a sustainable profile. DR calls this part of the building project IT-ECO.

Largest solar heating system in Denmark

The roof of DR Byen features a 1,060 m2 array of solar cells, making it the largest solar heating installation in Denmark. The solar cells produce in the neighbourhood of 80-100 MWh per annum. This energy is used for instance for groundwater cooling of the buildings.

The solar cells are mounted on several panel units. The largest and most visible panel measuring 650 m2 is placed above the atrium in segment 2.

Groundwater and fresh air cooling

DR Byen employs a combination of free cooling, night cooling and groundwater cooling to meet its massive cooling needs. The target is to reduce CO2 emissions from cooling by as much as 75 per cent.

DR Byen's cooling system is designed to utilise fresh air taken in from outside through air coolers most of the year (free cooling). When the outside air temperature rises too high, the groundwater cooling system takes over and in the last resort - as a back-up - a conventional power-driven compressor cooling system.

Groundwater, which is at a depth of 20 metres below DR Byen, is used as a groundwater cooling reservoir. The groundwater cooling reservoir consists of separate so-called warm and cold boreholes placed on either side of the building complex. In summer, groundwater from the cold borehole is used to cool down the buildings, before it is returned into the underground reservoir through the warm borehole. During the summer, temperatures rise a few degrees around the warm borehole.

In winter, cooling of the building is achieved by free cooling. Any excess cooling capacity in the free-cooling system is used to recool the groundwater by drawing up water from the warm borehole, cooling it and returning it through the cold borehole.

Energy savings targets of the IT-ECO project

The energy savings targets for DR Byen are to:

// Reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 75 per cent

// Reduce peak cooling load by 50 per cent

// Reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions from

space heating by 35 per cent compared to the levels of BR95

(the regulations in force when construction started)

// Integrate renewable energy (fresh air, groundwater,

solar energy) into the building

Sustainable elements

In addition to the sustainability initiatives mentioned above, DR Byen has brought a range of environmentally preferable elements in building design into focus, for example:

// Indoor climate and work environment - to provide a flexible and inspirational framework for creative work and, by so doing, ensure optimum conditions for the production of good programmes.

// Stricter requirements on energy consumption for heating and cooling.

// Daylight and intelligent lighting - improve the indoor climate at the same time as being energy-efficient.

// Environmentally preferable building materials - based on

life-cycle tests and documentation of materials used.

// Waste management - during the construction period and the in-service phase.

// Collection of rain water for toilet flushing etc.

For more information, please refer to:


// Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects



Source: and Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 / By Kasper Egeberg

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014