Superkilen Copenhagen Masterplan

Superkilen, Copenhagen Master Plan, Danish Architecture, Nørrebro Images, Design, Architect

Superkilen Copenhagen

Nørrebro Landscape Architecture: Urban Space Denmark – design by BIG, Topotek1 and SUPERFLEX

3 Oct 2016

Superkilen Photos

Design: BIG / Topotek1 / SUPERFLEX

Location: Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Denmark

Photos: AKTC / Kristian Skeie

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

A public space promoting integration across lines of ethnicity, religion and culture.

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 3rd of October 2016 – The winners of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture were announced today in a ceremony in Abu Dhabi.

One of the 6 winning projects.

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

A public space promoting integration across lines of ethnicity, religion and culture.

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

A meeting place for residents of Denmark’s most ethnically diverse neighbourhood and an attraction for the rest of the city, this project was approached as a giant exhibition of global urban best practice.

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

In the spring of 2006 the street outside the architects’ Copenhagen office erupted in vandalism and violence.

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Having just gone through the design of a Danish mosque in downtown Copenhagen, BIG chose to focus on those initiatives and activities in urban spaces that work as promoters for integration across ethnicity, religion, culture and languages.

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Taking their point of departure as Superkilen’s location in the heart of outer Nørrebro district, the architects decided they would approach the project as an exercise in extreme public participation.

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Rather than a public outreach process geared towards the lowest common denominator or a politically correct post rationalisation of preconceived ideas navigated around any potential public resistance, BIG proposed public participation as the driving force of the design.

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

An extensive public consultation process garnered suggestions for objects representing the over 60 nationalities present locally to be placed in the area.

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

The 750-metre-long scheme comprises three main zones: a red square for sports; a green park as a grassy children’s playground; and a black market as a food market and picnic area.

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Award Cycle: 2014-2016 Cycle
Status: Recipient
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Client: Copenhagen Municipality
Architect: Big-Bjarke Ingels Group, Superflex, Topotek 1

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Design: 2009-10
Size: 30’000 m2
Completed: 2011

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Superkilen Copenhagen, an Aga Khan Award for Architecture Winner in 2016 information from Aga Khan Award

Aga Khan Award for Architecture Winner in 2016

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Superkilen Copenhagen landscape

Superkilen Copenhagen Aga Khan Award for Architecture

1 Oct 2016

New images of this innovative Copenhagen urban space.

New architectural photographs © Adrian Welch, e-architect Editor, from a recent visit to Denmark:

‘red’ square, main entry to Superkilen, at the west end;
Superkilen Nørrebro

Looking a bit faded, but well-used – at first this feels like a long colourful playground, but as you walk through it and start to realise a multitude of foreign references it becomes more intriguing.

the ‘black’ market, looking east:
Superkilen Nørrebro

BIG have referenced items of street furniture from across the globe, and they are itemised in a large display board: a litter bin from USA or a belisha beacon from UK for example:

“collection of global found objects that come from 60 different nationalities of the people inhabiting the area surrounding it.”

looking east to the small hill:
Superkilen Nørrebro

star fountain:
Superkilen Nørrebro

looking west from the small hill:
Superkilen Nørrebro

the ‘green’ section, thin strip of grass and shrubs punctuated with landscape elements such as follies or exercise bars:
Superkilen Nørrebro

Superkilen Nominated for Major Global Award

Superkilen Copenhagen Masterplan prize – shortlisted for Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2016

31 Jan 2013

Superkilen Master Plan Award

Superkilen Copenhagen Nominated for Major European Award

Superkilen Copenhagen
image : Iwan Baan

Mies van der Rohe Awards Finalist

The European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe have announced the five finalists who will compete for the 2013 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. Superkilen Copenhagen is one of the five nominated buildings. In total, 335 works in 37 European countries were nominated for the award.

Mies van der Rohe Awards 2013 – Shortlisted building

16 Jan 2013

Superkilen Masterplan

Location: Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Denmark

Design: BIG, Topotek1 + SUPERFLEX

Superkilen masterplan designed by BIG + Topotek1 + Superflex has a great start to 2013 receiving a 2013 AIA NATIONAL HONOR AWARD and a citation as the best Urban Design in the Annual Design Review of ARCHITECT magazine.

At almost a mile long Superkilen wedges through one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighborhoods in Denmark creating a truly unique urban space with a strong identity on a local and global scale. The park is divided into three zones: the red square, the black market and the green park and is conceived as a giant exhibition of urban best practice – a collection of global everyday objects from the 60+ home countries of the local inhabitants. Initiated by the City of Copenhagen and Realdania Foundation, the project started construction in 2009 and opened to the public in June 2012. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected Superkilen as one of the winners of the 2013 Institute Honor Awards, the profession’s highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence in architecture, interior architecture and urban design.

Superkilen Copenhagen
image : Iwan Baan

“This project is a joy! This is not only original, but stunning to behold. It is noteworthy for its aesthetic approach, which is straightforwardly artificial rather than pretending to be natural. One of the project’s most exciting dimensions is its inclusion of the diverse community of users. Its bold use of color and public art in spaces that promote social interaction and engagement all exude a high level of excitement and energy through what once looked like residual space. Superkilen shows what can be done with an open, inventive approach within severe cost limitations. It demonstrates the value of powerful visual and spatial moves while keeping connected to the realities of a contemporary multicultural context: the condition of many European cities. The form of the project grew from a community participation process that led to a clear identity and enjoyable series of spaces. As a formal expression it breaks down into pieces and fits very nicely into the scale of the surrounding area as an interesting patchwork.” 2013 Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design Jury.

The Architect Magazine highlights Superkilen in their annual Design Review: “There’s an effort to represent each nationality living in the neighborhood through follies or specific programs … that is a lot of bang for the buck at $34 per square foot.” Elizabeth Ranieri

The urban park is also nominated for the prestigious Designs of the Year 2013 award by the Design Museum in London. Superkilen and other nominated projects, including the Olympic Cauldron by Thomas Heatherwick and The Shard by Renzo Piano will be on show in an exhibition at the museum from 20 March to 7 July 2013. The winners will be announced in April.

A book on Superkilen is currently in the works by Swedish Arvinius Publishers and expected to be out by Summer 2013.

360 view of the Black Square by photographer John Krøll:
Superkilen Masterplan – external link

20 Dec 2012


Location: Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Denmark

Design: BIG, Topotek1 and SUPERFLEX

Superkilen is a half a mile long urban space wedging through one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighborhoods in Denmark. It has one overarching idea that it is conceived as a giant exhibition of urban best practice – a sort of collection of global found objects that come from 60 different nationalities of the people inhabiting the area surrounding it. Ranging from exercise gear from muscle beach LA to sewage drains from Israel, palm trees from China and neon signs from Qatar and Russia. Each object is accompanied by a small stainless plate inlaid in the ground describing the object, what it is and where it is from – in Danish and in the language(s) of its origin. A sort of surrealist collection of global urban diversity that in fact reflects the true nature of the local neighborhood – rather than perpetuating a petrified image of homogenous Denmark.

Superkilen Copenhagen
image : Iwan Baan

Superkilen is the result of the creative collaboration between BIG, Topotek1 and SUPERFLEX, which constitutes a rare fusion of architecture, landscape architecture and art – from early concept to construction stage.

Superkilen is a park that supports diversity. It is a world exhibition of furniture and everyday objects from all over the world, including benches, lampposts, trash cans and plants – requisites that every contemporary park should include and that the future visitors of the park have helped to select. Superkilen reattributes motifs from garden history. In the garden, the translocation of an ideal, the reproduction of another place, such as a far off landscape, is a common theme through time. As the Chinese reference the mountain ranges with the miniature rocks, the Japanese the ocean with their rippled gravel, or how the Greek ruins are showcased as replicas in the English gardens. Superkilen is a contemporary, urban version of a universal garden.

Superkilen Copenhagen Superkilen Copenhagen Superkilen Copenhagen Superkilen Copenhagen
images : Iwan Baan

The conceptual starting point is a division of Superkilen into three zones and colors – green, black and red. The different surfaces and colors are integrated to form new, dynamic surroundings for the everyday objects.
The desire for more nature is met through a significant increase of vegetation and plants throughout the whole neighborhood arranged as small islands of diverse tree sorts, blossom periods, colors – and origin matching the one of surrounding everyday objects.

To create better and more transparent infrastructure throughout the neighborhood, the current bike paths will be reorganized, new connections linking to the surrounding neighborhoods are created, with emphasis on the connection to Mimersgade, where citizens have expressed desire for a bus passage. This transition concerns the whole traffic in the area at outer Norrebro and is a part of a greater infrastructure plan. Alternatives to the bus passage include signals, an extended middle lane or speed bumps.

Superkilen Copenhagen Superkilen Copenhagen Superkilen Copenhagen Superkilen Copenhagen
images : Iwan Baan

As an extension of the sports and cultural activities at the Norrebrohall, the Red Square is conceived as an urban extension of the internal life of the hall. A range of recreational offers and the large central square allows the local residents to meet each other through physical activity and games.
The colored surface is integrated both in terms of colors and material with the Nørrebrohall and its new main entrance, where the surface merges inside and outside in the new foyer.

Facades are incorporated visually in the project by following the color of the surface conceptually folding upwards and hereby creating a three-dimensional experience. By the large facade towards Norrebrogade is an elevated open space, which almost like a tribune enables the visitors to enjoy the afternoon sun with a view. In addition to the cultural and sportsfacilities, the Red Square creates the setting for an urban marketplace which attracts visitors every weekend from Copenhagen and the suburbs.

Superkilen’s central marketplace is located in the area of the existing hockey field. A large area on the square is covered by a multifunctional rubber surface to enable ballgames, markets, parades, and skating rinks in winter etc. The mobile tribunes of Norrebrohallen can be moved there for open-air movie/sports presentations. The square towards East allows outdoor service from the café inside by the future main entrance. Towards North, the visitors will enjoy basketball courts, parking spaces and an outdoor fitness area.

– The red square is defined by a street in each end and building and fences along the sides. The edge is moving in and out – and we have tied the area together by connecting the surrounding given lines and edges in the big red pattern. A big red carped stretched out between all sides of the square.
– Fitness area, Thai boxing, playground (slide from Chernobyl, Iraqi swings, Indian climbing playground), Sound system from Jamaica, a stencil of Salvador Allende, plenty of benches (from Brazil, classic UK cast Iron litter bins, Iran and Switzerland), bike stands and a parking area.
– Only red trees except the existing ones.
– Basket ball next to parking.

Superkilen Copenhagen Superkilen Copenhagen Superkilen Copenhagen
images : Iwan Baan

Mimers Plads is the heart of the Superkilen Masterplan. This is where the locals meet around the Moroccan fountain, the Turkish bench, under the Japanese cherry-trees as the extension of the area’s patio. In weekdays, permanent tables, benches and grill facilities serve as an urban living room for backgammon, chess players etc.
The bike traffic is moved to the East side of the Square by partly solving the problem of height differences towards Midgaardsgade and enable a bike ramp between Hotherplads and the intersecting bike path connection. Towards North is a hill facing south with a view to the square and its activity.

– The square can be spotted by the big, dentist neon sign from Doha, Qatar.
– Brazilian bar chairs under the Chinese palm trees, Japanese octopus playground next to the long row of Bulgarian picnic tables and Argentinean BBQ’s, Belgian benches around the cherry trees, UV (black light) light highlighting all white from the American shower lamp, Norwegian bike rack with a bike pump, Liberian cedar trees.
– To protect from the street ending at the north east corner of the square and to meet the wishes from the neighbors, we have folded up a corner of the square creating a covered space.
– Unlike the pattern on the red square, the white lines on Mimers Plads are all moving in straight lines from north to south, curving around the different furniture to avoid touching it. Here the pattern is highlighting the furniture instead of just being a caped under it.

Superkilen Copenhagen Superkilen Copenhagen Superkilen Copenhagen
images : Torben Eskerod

Bauman once said that “sport is one of the few institutions in society, where people can still agree on the rules”. No matter where you’re from, what you believe in and which language you speak, you can always play football together. This is why a number of sports facilities are moved to the Green Park, including the existing hockey field with an integrated basketball court as it will create a natural gathering spot for local young people from Mjolnerpark and the adjacent school.

Superkilen Copenhagen
image : Mike Magnussen

The activities of the Green Park with its soft hills and surfaces appeals to children, young people and families. A green landscape and a playground where families with children can meet for picnics, sunbathing and breaks in the grass, but also hockey tournaments, badminton games and workout between the hills.

Superkilen Copenhagen
image : Jens Lindhe

– The neighbors asked for more green so we ended up making the green park completely green – not only keeping and exaggerating the curvy landscape, but also painting all bike- and pedestrian paths green.
– From Tagensvej at the very north, the park is welcoming with a big rotating neon sign from USA, a big Italian chandelier and a black Osborne Bull from Costa del Sol (a wish from a Danish couple living in the area!).
– Armenian picnic tables next to Mjølnerparken with South African BBQ’s, a volcano shapes sports arena for basket ball and football, a line dance pavilion from Texas, muscle beach from LA with a high swing from Kabul, Spanish ping pong tables and a pavilion for the kids to hang out in.

The green park is turning into Mimers Plads on the top of the hill to the south. From the top of the hill you can almost overlook the entire Superkilen.

Superkilen Copenhagen Superkilen Copenhagen Superkilen Copenhagen
images : Torben Eskerod

Superkilen – Building Information

Client: Copenhagen Municipality, Realdania
Location: Nørrebro, Copenhagen / from Norrebrogade to Tagensvej
Function: Public space
Site area: 30.000 m2 / 322917 sq.ft / 750 m long public space
Building area: No buildings
Total floor area: No buildings
Completion: Spring 2012
Authorship: BIG, Topotek1, Superflex
Collaboration: Lemming Eriksson, Help PR & Communication
Budget: Ca. 58,5 MIO DDK / 7.7 MIO EUR / 11 MIO USD

Partner in Charge: Bjarke Ingels
Project Leader: Nanna Gyldholm Møller, Mikkel Marcker Stubgaard
Team: Ondrej Tichy, Jonas Lehmann, Rune Hansen, Jan Borgstrøm, Lacin Karaoz, Jonas Barre, Nicklas Antoni Rasch, Gabrielle Nadeau, Jennifer Dahm Petersen, Richard Howis, Fan Zhang, Andreas Castberg, Armen Menendian, Jens Majdal Kaarsholm, Jan Magasanik

Partners in charge: Martin Rein-Cano, Lorenz Dexler
Project Leader: Ole Hartmann + Anna Lundquist
Team: Toni Offenberger, Katia Steckemetz , Cristian Bohne, Karoline Liedtke

Partner-in-Charge: Superflex
Project Leader: Superflex
Team: Jakob Fenger, Rasmus Nielsen, Bjørnstjerne Christiansen

Superkilen images from BIG, Topotek1 & Superflex

BIG Architects

Location:Nørrebro, Copenhagen ‘

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