Copenhagen Gallery

Harbour House II

The latest Utzon project has a striking similarity with its siblings along the waterfront

A great many square metres of Kalkbrænderihavnen are already occupied by buildings by the renowned Utzon family - so many in fact that the place has jocularly been referred to as "Utzon City". Harbour House II is the latest addition to the list. The new office block is built between the first Harbour House from 2004 and the Paustian furniture house from 1989.

Simple and recognisable style

Harbour House II is designed in a formal style that fits in perfectly with the existing structures in the area. The building is characterised by clear, straight lines and large roof surfaces supported by white, tree-inspired concrete columns. Kim Utzon created the design for the 5,500 square metre office block. Actually, the building is more than just an office block; it also comprises an extension to the rear side of the Paustian furniture house. The two structures will be linked by a wide flight of steps and a plinth and, moreover, an alley along the north side of the furniture house will enable passage around the whole perimeter of the building.

White concrete and glass

The new Harbour House has a very light appearance, and the large window sections between the concrete columns will allow the sun to shine into the building from all sides. Two main entrances provide separate access to the north and south ends respectively.

The architects have given weight to using materials which combine simplicity of design with minimal maintenance. Columns, beams and decks are made of concrete elements.

Light from above

Daylight is a high priority in Harbour House II. No less than three large skylights allow natural light to penetrate to all floor levels and down into the internal atriums at the north and south ends of the building. The middle section of the building, comprising among other facilities a large auditorium, also has a skylight window. A spacious roof terrace from where future employees can enjoy the view over Kalkbrænderihavnen acts as an element that unifies the building as a whole.

Entrance and public space

At the building's southeast corner a triangular open space will provide access to a new east-facing entrance to Paustian and to the south-facing main entrance of the new office block.

New family member

Harbour House II is part of a comprehensive development plan for Kalkbrænderihavnen created by Kim Utzon Architects. Drawing inspiration from Giambattista Nolli's map of publicly accessible areas in Rome in 1748, the architects carried out analyses to determine how to site and design a number of houses which look inviting both from the inside and the outside.

Sunlight without a heatstroke

It is easy to imagine temperatures soaring to almost intolerable levels on a warm summer day in a house with so many and such large areas of glazing. The engineers have therefore devised a clever cooling system using thermoactive concrete structures to cool the office spaces. This means that it is possible to keep temperatures down in the summer by cooling the mass of the concrete structure.

Cooling tubes embedded in the building's concrete slabs maintain a liquid temperature of 16-17 degrees Celsius, thus helping to keep temperatures down. Fans fitted at every 3m in the load-bearing elements of the floor structure above the suspended ceiling distribute cool air along the surface of the ceiling. The fans turn on automatically when cooling is required.

With a view to ensuring the efficiency of the cooling system full-scale tests were conducted to optimise the cooling effect and to control the embedded tubes.

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014