Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Orestad and NordHaven

Orestad is a new town being created in southern Copenhagen. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%98restad It is somewhat reminiscent of IJborg in Amsterdam, although it features many highly geometric, and oftentimes colourful contemporary buildings by Bjarke Ingels and others. If you are not familiar with Ingels, who is designing two buildings in Vancouver for Ian Gillespie, you can learn more about him here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bjarke_Ingels. Yes, this is his 'mountain' project below.
A view of the mountain project from the pedestrian/cycle route. While the metal is wearing well, the wood isn't. Why do so many architects insist on using untreated wood on the exterior of multi-family buildings in rainy climates?

While I was impressed by many of the buildings, the highly contrived forms did not always make sense. There is certainly no economy of means, and too often the ground plane treatment is uninviting and sterile. I just don’t understand why the Danes don't creative more attractive ground planes, or highstreets and village centre. At Orestad, I was told that so far there is just one restaurant, a supermarket in a shopping centre. While it is a great place to take photographs, I suspect it will take many more years, and some planning changes, before it becomes a more inviting place to live. 
While not wanting to sound parochial, I think the planners could learn a lot from UniverCity and UBC New Town, and the redevelopment around False Creek.
At any rate, these are some of the photos that attracted considerable interest on my Facebook posts!
And now for something completely different
A view of Ingels '8' Building since it's in the shape of an 8 when seen from above. (That's a good reason for the geometry, isn't it?)

The recently completed AC Hotel Bella Sky http://www.acbellaskycopenhagen.dk/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwhN-6BRCJsePgxru9iIwBEiQAI8rq883V8znMzK-seLmbc43w8p3jCKLOFem9vkcxjT0n1zUaAqBn8P8HAQ
The Danish celebrate architecture and there is currently a Danish Architecture Centre on the waterfront. Unfortunately, I did not get to see it, but did discover the future Danish Architecture Centre which will be incorporated into a new complex. Richard Henriquez, who is leading the effort to get an Urbanarium in Vancouver, thinks there is much we can learn from Copenhagen's facility.
Elsewhere in the downtown I came across the following:
Many other waterfront redevelopment projects are underway. One afternoon I visited a new project that is still in its early stages on a portion of the harbour to the north of the downtown.  I need to do some research to identify the architects and the stories behind the buildings. But an architect I met on site who has purchased one of the homes told me the circular building is an office building built around a silo, and the red steel building is a parkade. It strikes me as a very fanciful building, but not one that will stand the test of time. But then, who knows!
This parking garage is expected to be covered in greenery one day. At least that's what the person I met is hoping, since his apartment that he purchased two years ago looks out on this building!
Some more sedate buildings....

Curious to know what the UN presence is all about.
A nice bit of folly.

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