Grønnegade Square

Twisting the classic use of brick created a contemporary urban carpet

MASU Planning: Grønnegade square was redesigned in 2010, to become a square worthy of its place in front of Brandt’s Art Museum and Culture Institution in Odense city center. The square provides the city with a new diverse urban space for activity and recreation. The multitude of ways to use the square appears hidden in the simple design, and is brought to life by the presence and movements of people. The space creates a frame for events and gatherings, but functions just as well for everyday life, were the large furniture are perfect as hangout spots for teenagers as well as play elements for children.


The warm yellow brick paving is the most recognizable material in the public spaces of Odense. It binds the city together in a marvelous way and speaks of tradition and qualitative awareness. At Grønnegade Square, the classic brick material is given an irregular touch by introducing large, wavelike patterns to form an ornamented carpet – as a base for the functionality of the square. Large, organically shaped bench elements, interactive light, and a water feature are placed on the carpet. A road cuts through the square, and we wanted to avoid a visual separation of the square. For people to perceive the space as one square, we expanded the urban carpet across the road. The visual appearance of the road is minimized, the road can be closed off and larger events can easily use the full space.

A tradition of tile pavement

In Odense, bricks are used in many different surfaces and in a wide variety of patterns and bonds. We wanted to challenge the classic brick and show the familiar material in a new, innovative way. The result is a squarewell rooted in the local traditions and a contemporary base for spontaneous and informal play and stay. Ny Grønnegade Street and Square has become a beautiful, useful, active and robust urban space for everyone to enjoy. A city space which can be taken in and explored, and where the users actively influence the space around them as both light and water can be activated and changes through text messages. The multi-use surface allows many different activities to take place in the same space. Different pieces of recreational furniture, which structure the square and support the program, are placed on the brick paving. The furniture offers large surfaces of seating, for hanging out, relaxing and play. The black furniture frames the open areas were changing events can take place.

An interactive cityscape

Together with light designer Jesper Kongshaug, we developed an interactive lighting concept. A number of high leaning masts with spots, lights up the square, the lamps are DMX controlled and together with the water fountains they are a part of the interactive setup. In the dark hours of evening and night, the square will be in constant transformation, slowly changing in light and color intensity. The lights react to the movements of pedestrians and help orchestrate life and interaction on the square. The street lighting of the square is integrated with the effect light and adjusts to different programmed scenarios. 8 different scenarios can be activated by mobile text messaging.


Project name: Grønnegade Square
Office: MASU Planning
Office role: Main consultant
Type: Open competition 2008, 1st prize
Location: Odense, Denmark
Design year: 2010
Year of construction: 2012
Area: 6,000 m2
Budget: 16,000,000 DKR / 2,143,312 EUR
Client: Odense Municipality
Image credits: MASU Planning and Torben Eskerod

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