Copenhagen Gallery


Award-winning building where generations are brought together in two different buildings.

It was a complex job facing the City of Copenhagen when a competition was arranged about the part of the porcelain factory site in Valby where the old buildings were not renovated for new purposes. Day care facility, family housing, senior housing, activity centre, and day centre were all to be erected within the same site of a total 15,000 sqm with the traditional block structure as the starting point.

A classical solution to the challenge would have been a square building, sliced like a loaf of bread - one slice, one function. The winning proposal from 3xN was the building cut in half. Two different buildings were placed on top of each other with family residences in the top half; institutions, courtyard, and senior housing in the lower. The project won the 2005 MIPIM AR Future Project Award for the solution regarding allowing different people to live together.

Two bodies with small feet

The two buildings are very different in both form and function. The lower two storeys are shaped like a four-leaf clover that unfolds from the middle that makes up the courtyard in the traditional block building. Here, you will find first a day care facility, a senior centre, and senior housing located in the leaves of the clover that reaches out to the surrounding streets in four wings. This divides the courtyard into smaller areas that work as atriums - some completely closed and protected; others with public access.

The roof of the four wings works as courtyards for the family residences. They are located above the clover in a traditional two-storey block building and stretch all the way along the surrounding streets. This part of the building rests partly on the outer tips of the bottom building, partly on brick columns that are part of four gates to the courtyard with direct access from the street. This shape has meant that the project, by architects, has been described as "a minimal footprint on the site".

Porcelain and cotton

By the time Langgadehus is erected, the entire worn-down industrial site around it is converted to a new urban neighbourhood. The entire stretch between Valby Langgade and Valby Station has been of great commercial significance for the neighbourhood since the railway between Roskilde and Copenhagen was established in 1847 and since then attracted large industrial companies - including the porcelain factory as one of the most significant. Most companies have closed or moved out of the city. Several of the old porcelain factory buildings have been restored and now function as school and cultural and sports centre. Next to the porcelain factory site, the previous cotton mill site is in the process of being converted to office and market area under a glass roof with direct access to Valby Station and further north the finishing touches are put on the plans for the F.L. Schmidt site that also will house new residents to revitalised central Valby.

New project

The original building designed by the architects 3XN, turned out to be impossible to realise within the budget for the social housing. The project is developed in co-operation between KAB and Kuben Byg A/S and will be realised within the framework of a city budget. The special characteristic of Langgadehus is the mix of public and private and city services and owner-occupied residences: it will house both day care centre, home care, senior residences, and owner-occupied flats.

Carsten Ralf Pedersen from Kuben says that the most important elements from the first project have been retained in the new project designed by the architects Mannik & Storm A/S. 

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014