Copenhagen Gallery

The Ørestad Islands

Øerne i Ørestad (The Ørestad Islands) have provided a vital contribution to Sivegade. The islands spread across the width of its canal, creating both elegant short cuts and new public space.

Ørestad is really taking shape: buildings, roads, metro, shops, schools and everything else a town needs, have sprung up. Now that the big picture is in place, it is time to cultivate some urban life in Ørestad, and create inviting public spaces for people to play or spend some time in. A city is not only about buildings. It is totally about the life that sprouts up among them.

City life in Sivegade gets a helping hand

With the project competition, "Byrum for livet" ("Public Spaces for Life") it was the turn of Ørestad City's Sivegade to get a city life-generating boost. Sivegade follows the Metro's overhead railway and extends from Vejlands Allé to Arne Jacobsens Allé. The district includes Sivegade itself, a canal and an area beneath the Metro's overhead railway.

Open Research Team (ORT) won the contest with their "Øerne i Ørestad" proposal. Like ripples in the water, the islands spread out over the canal, creating life both along its banks and across it.

Go island hopping for wildlife, fun and culture

The islands consist of three, round, wooden structures, which serve as elegant short cuts, while at the same time creating fun meeting places and new spaces for city life. The islands are located opposite Bjerget, Ørestad Bypark and Ørestad High School. Each island possesses its own special focus and functions, but all three share the same basic concept: to create a space, where the elements of play, culture and nature become an integral part of people's day-to-day lives.

The three islands

On the island opposite Bjerget, you can relax on benches, maybe with a cup of coffee from the newly opened café, FoodShop no. 55. Water lilies, bird houses on poles and floating vegetation attract birds and small animals, giving the island a real buzz.

The island opposite Byparken provides particularly low access to the water. From here you can skate in the winter and launch boats in summer. The island has a stage and power supply, so it can be used for entertainment.

The southernmost island is located near Ørestad High School, Ørestad School and the newly opened library. These institutions can make use of the island's decks as outdoor classrooms. There is also a small lookout tower, which allows children and adults to clamber up and get a view of the canal.

"Lille Arne" and the islands

In 2013 Øerne i Ørestad won "Lille Arne", a prize awarded by the Copenhagen division of the Danish Architects' Association. The jury emphasised the project's simple, yet effective approach. "The three Ørestad islands could easily have been located somewhere else and worked perfectly well. But, placed as they are, like bridges across the long, north-south flowing canal beneath the metro line, the islands scatter magic dust over the space under the overhead railway. It has never been done before with the same simple, functional, obvious approach."

Thursday, June 20, 2013 / By Ida Oline Frandsen

Last updated Thursday, July 10, 2014