Steven Holl Architects' plans for a dramatic new gateway to Copenhagen
The LM Project design for the dramatic new harbour entrance to the great city of
Copenhagen is based on a concept of two towers carrying two bridges at two orientations
all connecting back to the unique aspects of the site’s history. The Langelinie site, a berth
for ocean ships for decades, is expressed in the Langelinie tower with geometry taken
from the site’s shape. A prow-like public deck thrusts out to the sea horizon. This deck is
the level of public entry to the bridge elevators and has public amenities such as cafes and
galleries. It can be reached by a wide public stair as well as escalators. The Marmormolen
tower connects back to the City with a main terrace that thrusts out towards the city
horizon shaped by a public auditorium below. It can also be reached by escalators and is
adjacent to the public bridge elevator lobby.
Each tower carries its own cable-stay bridge that is a public passageway between the two
piers. Due to the site geometry, these bridges meet at an angle, joining like a handshake
over the harbor. The soffits below the bridges and under the cantilevers pick up the bright
colors of the harbor; container orange on the undersides of the Langelinie, bright yellow
on the undersides of the Marmormolen. At night the uplights washing the colored
aluminium reflect like paintings in the water.
The project utilises a variety of progressive sustainable solutions to ensure this important
international landmark is rooted in Denmark’s identity as one of the world leaders in
alternative energy. Both towers have high performance glass curtain walls with a veil of
solar screen made of photovoltaics; collecting the sun’s energy while shading. They are
connected to a seawater heating/cooling system with radiant heating in the floor slabs and
radiant cooling in the ceiling.
Natural ventilation is provided on every floor with windows
opening at the floor level and ceiling level for maximum air circulation. Optimum natural
light is provided to all offices due to the reflective light performance of the screens. Wind
turbines line the top of the pedestrian bridge roof; providing all electricity for lighting the
public spaces. Due to wind power, this inviting harbor front gateway is always glowing.