New Karen Blixens Plads in Copenhagen merges urban space and nature
The new Karen Blixens Plads urban plaza in south Copenhagen with the Amager Commons in the background; photo © Rasmus Hjortshøj; courtesy of COBE.
Completed in 2019 after a design by award-winning Danish architectural firm COBE, Karen Blixen Plads is a new iconic plaza connecting the Copenhagen University South Campus with Amager Commons, a 40-hectare natural reserve in the southern part of the Danish capital.
With a total area of 21,415 square meters/230,000 square feet, the plaza, one of the largest urban spaces in Copenhagen, is aimed at connecting the three main entrances of the university while, at the same time, providing a recreational space for the students and parking space for up to 2,000 bicycles.
To create a seamless transition between the urban space and Amager Commons, COBE designed the plaza as an undulated surface, with the bicycle parking lots located under a sequence of “hills” made in reinforced concrete and clad with tiles whose beige color echoes that of the university buildings nearby. At the same time, the Danish firm devised a gradual metamorphosis of the hard-landscaped area of the plaza into a green space by the means of a number of circular grass lawns that progressively transform into larger organic-shaped artificial meadows.
“The urban space is connected to Amager Commons through a gradual transition, which makes Karen Blixens Plads a hybrid of a park and a public square (…) As a natural meeting place, the area offers a flexible zone where many different activities can unfold, including informal breaks, lectures, group work or events outside of school hours, serving as an urban living room”. COBE
A sequence of artificial hills and circular lawns creates a gradual transition between hard and soft landscaping.
Cross-sections of the plaza. Courtesy COBE.
The bicycle parking spaces are located under several concrete domes whose outer surfaces form the “hills” of the undulated plaza.
View of the plaza at dusk.
All photographs © Rasmus Hjortshøj; courtesy of COBE.
More in Copenhagen & eastern Denmark
Copenhagen & eastern Denmark
copyright Inexhibit 2020 - ISSN: 2283-5474