Danish Architecture Guide


The new quarter at the northern end of the harbour of Copenhagen has a dense urban atmosphere with its renovated warehouses and massive new buildings. Here the residential complex Nordlyset ("Northern Light") glows like a jewel. Up close the building emerges as a rigid white-rendered block, bringing to mind Scandinavian Functionalism. Balconies and gateways are "dug out" of the building's solid shape evoking, along with the coloured sheets of glass, a sense of serenity.

Nordlyset was created in close cooperation between C.F. Møller Architects and artist Ruth Campau. The striped pattern on the glass sheets was made with brush strokes and transferred to the glass using a photographic process. The sheets serve both an aesthetic and functional purpose, mounted as partitions between the balconies, at the entrances and around the lifts. Art is often placed in architecture once a building is completed, whereas in this case it was created together with the rest of the building.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 / By Kasper Egeberg

Last updated Wednesday, January 22, 2014