Copenhagen Gallery

Holmbladsgade Meeting Place

This neighbourhood centre has given residents of the Holmbladsgade quarter in Jemtelandsgade a unique meeting place.

The Neighbourhood Centre has been fitted out in a former factory building from 1880, and the renovation is part of the overall neighbourhood facelift in the area around Holmbladsgade.

A broad segment of the Centre's future users were consulted in connection with the renovation, and apart from a library, a youth club, an athletics association and an assembly hall, the building also plays host to a number of the Holmbladsgade quarter's clubs, associations and voluntary networks.

The Neighbourhood Centre's manager, Steen Christensen, is pleased with the new building:

"The Neighbourhood Centre has developed into a very smooth-functioning base for grass-roots democracy and neighbourhood networking, while at the same time succeeding as a culture centre. Here there is room for the passionate movers and shakers to meet and work on new projects, and conferences and debating events can be held here too. At the same time, there is room for workshops, art exhibitions, concerts and children's theatre," says Christensen.

A treetop grotto

Dorthe Mandrup Arkitekter are responsible for converting the Neighbourhood Centre.

The greatest challenge involved in the conversion was using relatively limited resources to provide more space for activities and public meeting places. This goal was achieved firstly by stripping the insides out of the old factory building to make room for a spacious and serviceable three-storey foyer with a café and an entrance to the library.

The Centre was then enlarged by adding a eyecatching extension and assembly hall. Like a grotto among the trees, the assembly hall is located at first-floor height atop a 'forest' of slanted concrete columns. The walls of the hall consist of large panes of glass with wide-meshed wooden latticework on the inside reminiscent of oversized shelving. Entrance to the hall is from the 1st floor of the original building over a catwalk. The combination of light, glass and the airy, wooden interior structure creates a special and slightly floating impression once inside the hall. In her review of the Neighbourhood Centre, the architect Merete Ahnfeldt-Mollerup, MAA, described the hall as "one of Copenhagen's most beautiful public spaces."

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014