Copenhagen Gallery

Fyrholm

Sluseholmen is a thriving neighbourhood modeled afted the canal-towns of Amsterdam.

For years, the area around the South Harbor's lock was almost deserted after busy commercial traffic moved out of the Fairway. This meant that life in Sluseholmen had to start all over again when residents moved in at the end of 2006. The architects behind Fyrholm worked consistently to help this process along, so that the area could gradually evolve into a vibrant quarter. For example, they want to make sure that activities would continue around the strip of little red wooden sheds along the Fairway, part of the nearby boat harbor. The architects also wanted to make courtyards semi-public by providing direct access through two large, open gateways. The entire ground floor has been designed so that it can be transformed into retail space as need arises.

Gardens with Dutch inspiration

In keeping with Sjoerd Soeters's "dogmas" for Sluseholmen as a whole, all facades in the Fyrholm complex were individually designed. This is why the chief architect, Claus Gröning, wanted a contrast that would give the site some peace and calm. On a visit to Begijnhof in Amsterdam, he got an idea of how to accomplish this goal. Begijnhof is a 15th-century courtyard surrounded by traditional Dutch houses. It was the home of a Catholic lay sisterhood that lived a monastic-like life in a park-enclosed cloister. Fyrholm's courtyard was designed to look much like Begijnhof's, with an expansive, flat lawn surrounded by the buildings' windows and very simple features such as low hedges and a system of paths. The visitor should be able to see the whole area at a glance and get the impression of being in a peaceful park.

Life in the new district is only now taking shape. In order to help the process get started, the City of Copenhagen has stipulated that activities in the nearby boat club's little red wooden sheds along the Fairway must be ensured in the future. The architects wanted to make the courtyards semi-public by allowing direct access through two big, open gateways. And the entire ground floor was designed so that the premises can be converted into shops as need arises. Fyrholm is the only one of the eight complexes being built in Sluseholmen to have its own ramp for small boats. Those with more traditional vehicles will park underground and come up right in the center of the courtyard. The idea is to give residents of this new quarter an opportunity to meet one another.

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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