BIG Group, 8House, Copenhagen, Denmark

By Roberto Lucchese

Celebrating its third project with the same development team in the maturing neighborhood of Orestad, the construction of the 61,000 m2 8 House has come to an end, allowing people to bike all the way from the street up to its 10th level penthouses alongside terraced gardens where the first residents have already moved in.

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The bowtie-shaped 61,000 m2 mixed-use building of three different types of residential housing and 10,000 m2 of retail and offices comprises Denmark’s largest private development ever undertaken. Commissioned by St. Frederikslund and Per Hopfner in 2006, the 8 House sits on the outer edge of the city as the southern most outpost of Orestad. Rather than a traditional block, the 8 House stacks all ingredients of a lively urban neighborhood into horizontal layers of typologies connected by a continuous promenade and cycling path up to the 10th floor creating a three-dimensional urban neighborhood where suburban life merges with the energy of a big city, where business and housing co-exist.

The 8 House creates two intimate interior courtyards, separated by the centre of the cross which houses 500 m2 of communal facilities available for all residents. At the very same spot, the building is penetrated by a 9 meter wide passage that allows people to easily move from the park area on its western edge to the water filled canals to the east. Instead of dividing the different functions of the building – for both habitation and trade – into separate blocks, the various functions have been spread out horizontally.

A continuous public path stretches from street level to the penthouses and allows people to bike all the way from the ground floor to the top, moving alongside townhouses with gardens, winding through an urban perimeter block. Two sloping green roofs totaling 1,700 m2 are strategically placed to reduce the urban heat island effect as well as providing the visual identity to the project and tying it back to the adjacent farmlands towards the south.

The 8 House uses size to its advantage by creating immense differences in height thereby creating a unique sense of community with small gardens and pathways that remind you of the intimacy of an Italian hill town. With spectacular views towards the Copenhagen Canal and Kalvebod Faelled’s protected open spaces, 8 House provides residences to people in all of life’s stages through its 476 housing units, including apartments of varied sizes, penthouses and townhouses as well as office spaces to the city’s business and trade in one single building.

Photos by Jens Lindhe

“8 House is a three-dimensional neighborhood rather than an architectural object. An alley of 150 rowhouses stretches through the entire block and twists all the way from street level to the top and down again. Where social life, the spontaneous encounter and neighbor interaction traditionally is restricted to the ground level, the 8 House allows it to expand all the way to the top,” Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG

Photos by Ty Stange

The model

7.02.2011

DURST FETNER RESIDENTIAL SELECTS BIG TO DESIGN 600-UNIT RESIDENTIAL BUILDING ON W57TH STREET,  NEW YORK, US

The building is a hybrid between the European perimeter block and a traditional Manhattan high-rise. West 57th has a unique shape which combines the advantages of both: the compactness and efficiency of a courtyard building providing density, a sense of intimacy and security, with the airiness and the expansive views of a skyscraper. By keeping three corners of the block low and lifting the north-east corner up towards its 467 ft peak, the courtyard opens views towards the Hudson River, bringing low western sun deep into the block and graciously preserving the adjacent Helena Tower’s views of the river.

10.02.2011

BIG WINS THE COMPETITION TO DESIGN GREENLAND’S NEW NATIONAL GALLERY, NUUK, GREENLAND

Located on a steep slope overlooking the most beautiful of Greenland’s fjords, the 3000 m2 National Gallery will serve as a cultural and architectural icon for the people of Greenland. The new museum will combine historical and contemporary art of the country in one dynamic institution The winning proposal was selected by a unanimous museum board among 6 proposals, including Norwegian Snøhetta, Finnish Heikkinen‐Komonen, Islandic Studio Granda and Greenlandic Tegnestuen Nuuk.

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