With the opening of the Kalvebod Waves project designed by JDS and KLAR, the Danish city of Copenhagen has gained an accessible and attractive inner city waterfront. Partially opened 6 weeks ago, the swooping form has already become a magnet for urban life and water activities. Engineers on the project were Sloth Møller and Niras.
Historically this part of the harbour was devoted to industrial activities however in the 80’s and 90’s, the city developed the area into an architecturally austere mono-programmed harbour front, leaving its quay barren and open to strong winds and deserted by citizens. When addressing this infamously gloomy and desolated side of the harbour, the architecture team put their focus on two major design aspects: to create urban continuity and to locate themselves on the sunny spots of the water.
Until now the long shadows cast by stark structures in the vicinity were having a negative effect on the Kalvebod area, throwing it into patches of dark, cool shade. The design team studied the course of these shadows throughout the day and the year and located two main pockets of shadow-free zones. They therefore decided to program those areas as resting islands on the water. From there on, all JDS and KLAR needed was to find an active way to reconnect those islands to the urban network and to make them relate to the city’s infrastructure.
The 4,000 sq m development consists of a ’waving’ pier, where the citizens and visitors of Copenhagen can explore the water-front from different levels and enjoy its scenic views. From here they can take a walk or boat-tour, rent a kayak in the kayak-hotel, get a coffee in one of the container shops, sit in the sun or simply enjoy an exciting and active public space.