Copenhagen Gallery


One of the first former industrial sites along the waterfront that was transformed into housing is located south of the blue-collar neighborhood on Islands Brygge.

Since Kalvebod Brygge on the other side of the Fairway had been sharply criticized, a decision was made to have at least 50% residential space on the site of the former soy-cake factory. Interest in new housing proved so strong, however, that an estimated 85% of the floor space in Havnestaden is comprising housing. Private individuals have consequently been given much better access to the waterfront than on Kalvebod Brygge, which is dominated by commercial properties. Critics do feel that the new quarter will be too sterile since there is only a single supermarket and there are no other stores, cafés, or restaurants to bring residents of the 1,200 apartments out onto the streets. Axel Heides Gade has been designated as a local center in the plan, but so far developers have not found it sufficiently profitable to build more stores in the area.


If Havnestaden doesn't have much in the way of shopping, it does have distinctive landmarks. Just about everyone in Copenhagen can recognize the former seed silos and the new bridge (Bryggebroen) across the Fairway. This link between Islands Brygge and Vesterbro is, in fact, what has made Havnestaden so important for pedestrians and cyclists from areas that were previously separated by the water.

When Havnestaden was being planned, a decision was made to preserve and rebuild six old properties with a strong identity and to build new complexes that each had its own architectural distinctiveness. The result is a mixture of luxury apartments and public housing as well as commercial properties. A new little marina was also built. The Harbor Park in the old part of Islands Brygge has been extended by 300 meters so that it runs all the way to Havnestaden. Reflecting pools have been laid out and a green wedge has been planted between the Amager Fælled commons and the Harbor Park. Everything has been sited to give each complex its own attractions.

The soybean-cake factory

Havnestaden was built on the site of the former soybean-cake factory. The factory opened in 1910 and experiments started on chemical methods for extracting oil three years later. By 1960, it had more than 1,200 employees, but public protests grew after a violent explosion in 1980 and it was closed in 1991. The site was so polluted that the owner parceled the 177,000 sq. m. of land and sold the plots to finance the major cleanup that was necessary before the land could be reused.


Havnestaden was built between the Harbor Park and the Amager Fælled commons. Based on an overall concept of green, urban, and blue elements, the quarter is structured around a green wedge that extends from the Harbor Park through the northern part of the quarter to the Amager Fælled commons, with housing on both sides. This green wedge creates new links between the waterfront and the commons and a new bicycle path continues across the Fairway to Vesterbro.

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014