Industry's New House
Standing on one of the country's most attractive addresses, Industriens Hus is currently undergoing a facelift of its heavy 1970s façade to a modern style expression with glass from top to bottom.
The firm of architects, Transform, has designed this extensively renovated building at Rådhuspladsen in Copenhagen, to be completed in 2013.
In recent years, there have been on-going discussions whether Copenhagen's Rådhusplads (City Hall Square) lives up to its role as city centre and one of the first places to greet the tourist or visitor to the city. Industriens Hus, especially, on the corner of H.C. Andersens Boulevard and Vesterbrogade, has been accused of being outdated and forbidding, its prominent location taken into account.
As Dansk Industri (Confederation of Danish Industry) also happened to be short of space- there seemed to be one obvious solution: in 2009, the Aarhus firm of architects, Transform, presented a proposal for a radical renovation of and extension plan for the building.
From Brick to Glass Façade
Ever since the custom house was closed at Vesterport in the century before last, the site has been occupied by Industriforeningen (now Da
nsk Industri) - from 1979 in a building designed by the architect, Erik Møller, who will be remembered for the dark brick façade and the large neon signs adorning the elevation facing the square, indicating the names of confederation members.
In the new building, the heavy and shut-off façade has been completely abandoned. The new building will appear with a pure glass façade suspended by a slender steel framework. The framework has been turned 45 degrees thus outlining a harlequin pattern all the way round the building.
Renovation and Extension
Instead of demolishing the existing building completely, the front part has been 'stripped' i.e. everything except the concrete construction has been removed. The columns have then been reinforced and the extension has been built giving the building an inclining façade towards H.C. Andersens Boulevard and Rådhuspladsen - plus two extra storeys on top.
Facing Vesterbrogade, an extra three storeys have been added making eight storeys in total. On the back facing Tivoli Gardens, a new wing has been added, gradually and in steps, decreasing to two storeys with small roof gardens on the 'steps'.
Double Façade Against Traffic Noise
The new façade of Industriens Hus has been made in two layers. An inner sealed unit keeps the heat in while the outer glass layer shields against wind and weather while also keeping out the traffic noise from one of the busiest intersections in the country.
From an energy point of view, the double façade has the advantage that the inner, insulating part is not affected by wind and, consequently, will not be cooled down to the same extent as the outer façade. During the summer period, the heat from the outer façade will be removed by natural ventilation by simply opening a hatch at the top of the space between the two façades.
Facing Rådhuspladsen, the inner façade has been pulled back at a height of six storeys creating a tall, unheated lobby at the main entrance of the building.
Shops and Neon Signs
When the shops return to Industriens Hus in 2013, the former, closed-off arcade on the ground floor will be turned round so that the shops will be facing the street. The old neon signs will be reinstalled but, this time, in an energy-efficient LED-version.
The new version will have an extra edge: LED-lighting will also be installed into the framework of the façade and can be programmed to display various colours and patterns.
Literature on architecture in Copenhagen
Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014