Recreation, recreation, recreation

James Forryan
Tuesday 03 Feb 2009

New youth centre from Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

Dorte Mandrup's new building is situated in a residential area in a northern suburb of Copenhagen, Denmark. The area predominately consists of large villas from the turn of the century. The site is long and narrow, on one side bordering the railroad and on the other a busy road- Gersonsvej - hence there was a noise problem to be solved.

The program was a mixed use complex containing several different institutions, both communities and individual users. Cross programming was developed through workshops and games with future users, adults as well as children.The site is noise polluted to a degree demanding noise reducing walls to protect the outdoor play area. Elements such as a bunker and a transformer box were integrated with the landscape of green noise baffles surrounding the site. An old chestnut tree characteristic to the site was preserved and incorporated in the garden.

To express the complexity of the program under one roof, the building is shaped to the area with a form that morphs recreation and leisure in 3 connected houses. As interpretations of the surrounding villas, the design of the building basically downscales the large volume of the gym to the scale of the area.These houses spread out into individual villas:Sports villa,Café villa,Workshop villa and Music villa. There is a dynamic synergy between the villas and throughout the house, where sports and leisure are directly intertwined, both physically and mentally. The merge between indoors and outdoors was also in relation to this and an important feature for the users. Ground level activities all have direct access to the garden or courtyards.

The terminology of the building recognises classical domestic spaces such as the entrance hall, dining room, atelier / office, living room, terrace, garden and attic. Through the use of color, light and surfaces, varying moods emerge as a series of rooms. Each is done with its own special character, specific technical, acoustic, material and surface related qualities depending on their unique function. The ambition has been to create a hang-out for children, who recall Pippi Longstocking's famous “Villa Villakulla” as more than just another institution.

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