Henning Larsen unveils design for large mixed-use timber building on Copenhagen waterfront

Henning Larsen architects
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ONE OF DENMARK’S LARGEST TIMBER BUILDINGS

Henning Larsen and Ramboll have unveiled their design for ‘marmormolen’, a large timber structure combining office, retail, and public program on the Nordhavn waterfront, in Copenhagen. Structured entirely by wood, the project integrates a welcoming green plaza, lush rooftop gardens, promenades, and a waterfront park, thus contributing to the neighbourhood’s transformation from a primarily industrial district to a testing ground for innovation and prototypical concepts. The project, which will be one of the largest contemporary wood constructions in Denmark, will break ground in early 2022 and is expected to open in 2024.

PUTTING SUSTAINABILITY FIRST

Created for danish company AP pension, the design by Henning Larsen (find more here) and Ramboll (find more here) generates a 28,000 sqm, eight-story commercial building made entirely of wood. As the case against concrete construction is getting stronger, solid timber has emerged as a leader in the list of sustainable alternatives. In contrast to concrete, timber stores embodied carbon. Therefore, by replacing concrete with timber, the structure will embed tons of carbon instead of emitting them.

‘Today, it is imperative that architecture challenges our usual notion of structures and materials. The construction industry is a major emitter of CO2, and we therefore also have great opportunities to make things better. We’re excited to be working with AP pension on a project that puts sustainability and sustainable strategies such as the UN’s sustainable development goals first,’ says Søren Ollgaard, partner & design director at Henning Larsen.

AN IDEAL WORKSPACE COMPOSED OF CUBES, TERRACES, AND GARDENS

Marmormolen emerges as an ideal modern workspace with urban life, shops, restaurants, and public transportation close by. Designed to blend seamlessly with the context, the building rises to its full eight stories towards a busy street and train tracks, while it steps down to three stories towards the neighboring housing on the opposite side. Although the structure is built as one volume, it is visually divided into smaller cubes that can respond to the lifestyles, needs and wishes of the different tenants. Each cube has its own rooftop that features terraces and gardens with great biodiversity, beehives, butterfly hotels, and vegetable production areas.

A MARKETPLACE FOR IDEAS AND COMMUNITY MAKING

Marmormolen’s multi-users profile, diversity of extroverted programs, and publicly accessible ground floor make it the exact opposite of a traditional introverted office environment. According to the architects, the project is conceived as a marketplace for ideas and community making. ‘Workplaces used to be very interior and exclusive, but people today want to feel they are a part of a more diverse community and open up to their surroundings. With marmormolen we want to create more than a great office building, we also want it to give something back to the city and makes the building come alive – even outside office hours,’ says Mikkel Eskildsen, associate design director and lead design architect on the project.

The structure’s transparent, open, and inviting ground floor will be a sustainable setting for a vibrant marketplace. Inside, this floor will hold amenities for the tenants such as a large cantina and auditorium, which will also serve as a public eatery and venue for theaters, flea markets etc. respectively. On upper levels, workplaces open enjoy uninterrupted views of Copenhagen’s skyline, while in the center, there’s access to a large courtyard with greenery and good exposure to sunlight.

Project info:

Name: marmormolen

Architects: Henning Larsen architects, Ramboll

Location: Nordhavn waterfront, Copenhagen, Denmark

Area: 28,000 sqm (300,000 sqft)

Henning Larsen unveils design for large mixed-use timber building on Copenhagen waterfront