Copenhagen Gallery

Nordvest Parken

A new community park has taken over a large area in Copenhagen's Northwest district which used to be closed to the public.

A new community park has taken over a large area in Copenhagen's Northwest district which used to be closed to the public, serving as a garage for the HT bus company. The 3.5ha big area, situated at Hulgårds Have, has been transformed into an open, public park, where town and country merge in the spirit of the landscape architects.

The design for this greatly needed park in the Northwest district was created by SLA landscape architects in cooperation with writer Jan Sonnergaard who provided creative input to the project.

The community park provides a setting for play, relaxation and physical activity in the area and has been described by the architects as a "marvellous park with plenty of opportunities for activity". Barbecues, chess boards, theatre - the possibilities for outdoor activities are endless, reflecting the breadth and diversity that characterise the Northwest district.

High mountains and 1001 trees

Paths, trees, light and cone-shaped mountain tops are the four simple basic elements used in the design of the park. The three mountain tops measuring 8, 11 and 15 metres in height act as landmarks for the three sections of the park.

Moreover, the concept known as "1001 trees", referring to the more than 100 trees of 63 different species planted on the site, adds a distinct character to the park. Each tree has a small plate with its name and more information, e.g. its origin and use. The many trees bring nature into the Northwest district as a contrast to the surrounding grey neighbourhood.

Playful elements and a magical atmosphere

The park is designed without a formal centre, so there were no strict lines to uphold.. Instead there are lots of points of intersection where people will meet. A network of meandering asphalt paths ties the entire park area together.

The overriding theme of the park's design is the Milky Way. Seating islands shaped like stars are scattered across the park, which contains several inviting open spaces, striped light poles, poems by children printed on the asphalt and various projections. All these elements produce lots of sensory impressions and create a magical atmosphere.

An informal public space full of colours and shapes

The architects have not been afraid of using colours and shapes in the park. In the lighting, a key element of the park, the architects break with the classic Nordic light by introducing multiple colours and shapes. The illumination offers a wealth of different lighting experiences and may therefore be seen rather as a visual and artistic project. Several hundred lamps have been installed in the park; for instance, every single tree is lit, which adds to the creation of a fairytale-like ambience at night and in the dark months. To reduce the risk of vandalism the trees are lit from above.

In 2010 SLA won Den Danske Lyspris (Danish lighting award) for its lighting solution. In its citation the jury said: "The lighting makes use of the architecture and the objects in the park, and the cheerful colours and varied environments give the place an informal and welcoming feel".

Read the jury's full citation here (in Danish)

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014