Copenhagen Gallery

National Archives

The National Archives contain everything from census records to written protocols for the registration of motor vehicles. There are a total of 370 kilometres of shelf space inside.

The National Archives contain everything from census records to written protocols for the registration of motor vehicles. Some say these buildings hold an excessive amount of paper: the shelves inside the box-like buildings are 12 metres tall, and there is a total of 370 kilometres of shelf space inside. Along those shelves lie several tons of important historical documents.

In place after a fight

The new National Archives may be one of the country's most disputed constructions. Initially, the plan was to build the Archives in Ørestad, the from-scratch development on Amager. But that proved too expensive, and it was proposed to situate the archives in Odense or somewhere else outside the capital. That idea drew protests, and stakeholders breathed a sigh of relief when the site chosen was the old DSB freight yard along Kalvebod Brygge. In 2003, the location was officially approved.

Façade with characters

The building was designed by PLH architects, and features simple geometry with large wall surfaces adorned with runic reliefs, giving the façade a graphic display of light and shadow. The runes refer to the contents of the building.

 

Green life

On the roof of one of the buildings is a green street, in which the bas-relief façade has been translated in the form of narrow, cross-cutting trails between small sitting areas with benches. Rainwater is also collected in a rooftop reservoir, which provides sound and heat insulation, and also some moisture which effectively regulates the temperature in the archive and ensures a good microclimate. Given the nature of the building, climate is an exceedingly important concern.

The greenways at the National Archives are part of a plan for a long green street, the central idea in the land use plan for the area. The plan calls for grassy streets with trees and shrubs to wriggle in between buildings. This pedestrian area will give citizens of nearby Vesterbro a much-needed green respite.

There are plans for additional development in the area.

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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