The curved course of the Købmagergade shopping street is typical of the city centre of Copenhagen. Together with the Hauser Plads, Kultorvet and Trinitatis Church squares, this long street embodies the characteristic image of the labyrinthine medieval city centre. The district has its own daily and weekly rhythms: people cycle, walk, shop, play and go out in the evenings. But traffic for deliveries, refuse collection and maintenance also joins in this rhythm. Our first step was to clean and empty the area, so that the flow of people can easily find its way. We also selected strong materials such as natural stone: a durable material with a strong and harmonious appearance. The design proposal encourages the development of intensive city life on the one hand, and on the other it is linked with the rich history of Copenhagen.
The layout of the three squares is varied, just as their historical situation and their location in the city are varied. On the Kultorvet the dark – almost black – paving pattern of the stone is inspired by the 18th century coal trade. On the rather more peaceful Hauser Plads square, the exciting grass play mounds form a green oasis in the urban fabric. At night, the Trinitatis Church square with its famous observatory Rundetårn is transformed by artificial lighting into an enormous starry sky. The three squares are diverse in colour, from dark coal to bright stars: ‘From Kultorvet to the Milky Way’.
In the evening and at night the medieval city has its own melancholy and mysterious atmosphere, especially in winter. This unique ambience is emphasised by the use of warm indirect lighting, with a few extra accents on the squares. This means that it is still possible to see the stars, just as Christian the Fourth did from the observatory in Rundetårn in the 17th century.
Design team: KBP.EU, a joint venture between karres+brands and Polyform (now WERK)
In collaboration with Oluf Jørgensen Engineering and Ulrike Brandi Licht
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Assignment: design of shopping street and three squares
Area: 2.2 hectares
Construction: 2009 – 2013
Client: Municipality of Copenhagen
Budget: € 9.9 mio