The Dome of Visions is a 3-story transparent dome structure that is currently located on the harbour’s edge in central Copenhagen. It houses a small building, fragrant plats and trees and a small multi-use space.
The driving vision behind the Dome is future sustainable architecture. How it can be incorporated into the existing urban fabric, the spaces between buildings and how we can attract life into these places through social architecture.
It is a project that unlike a lot of contemporary danish architecture, it seeks to learn from doing. Seeing how the space actually functions climatically and socially rather then predicting how it might, by spending much time and energy on talk, reports and glossy computer generated graphics.
In its daily function it provides the platform for cultural events but most importantly a space for conferences and debates for construction professionals. Dome of Visions must challenge the construction industry and material producers responsibility when it comes to solving future climate challenges and try to find concrete answers on how the industry can create buildings that are both resource- and energy-optimized and economically viable.
Street furniture, in my experience, is to often something chosen from an overly restricting schedule. The result, an uncomfortable, durable, permanently fixed structure. It probably has metal insets to discourage skaters and awkwardly spaced dividers, that make it uncomfortable for a person to relax.
Designers Jair Straschnow and Gitte Nygaard have done the opposite. Beside the Harbour, Hammocks or swings made from recycled fire hoses allow users to relax comfortably. This non static street furniture is all about fun! It creates a dynamic environment for social development by giving an adult user group a place of playfulness and comfort.
Imagine how good our cities could be if we allow more space for street furniture to provide our population with relaxation, playfulness and fun in their daily lives.
Read more here
Does anyone know where the swings have been relocated to? They are no longer at DAC.
Photos by Jair Straschnow
Last Friday I was lucky enough to be invited to the TagTomat summer celebration. It was a great afternoon for mingling with some of Scandinavian’s urban gardening enthusiasts and learning a trick or two about gardening in the city. TagTomat’s Mads and Christian gave demonstrations on how make DIY self watering portable garden beds at various scales. (video guides can be found at http://www.tagtomat.dk)
The concept of TagTomat began in 2011 in Copenhagen. Founder Mads began in his own backyard where the roof of his bike shed became a tomato garden. 3 years later and you can’t miss his logo on many of the cities pop up garden initiatives.
Successful urban spaces are plentiful in Copenhagen. But what is it that makes nearly every block in the city have such a vibrant and lively outdoor environment? What I have noticed is that spaces are treated as pieces of a city puzzle. Not every place has every possible function occurring. They are treated as a segment of a bigger picture, respecting that is already working well just around the corner.
This fun square is in the neighbourhood of Nørrebro is such a piece. It simply hosts a slide for children to play on. Perfectly positioned and scaled it fits into it’s location. The square draws children from across the neighbourhood to come slide and mingle. It doesn’t offer everything you might need in a public space. But what it does offer, it does a wonderful job at.
This puzzle piece approach also results in species that are not overtly dedicated to one user group. While children laugh, slide and have fun you can also find adults reading a newspaper or chatting with friend. Un phased that they are occupying a playground.
One week of autumn weather and I’m really noticing the change in the program of the city. Its only when I no longer had the hunger for a mid day dip or a late night slash, that I realize the extent that the Copenhagen harbor has contributed to my love for, and my routine in this city. The moment when my head pops back above the water after jumping in for a swim has become know by my friends as ‘my happy place’. A moment of joy and gratitude for being able to live in this city.
My favorite place for a swim is straight off the wave shaped promenade know as Kalvebod Byygge. This design by JDS Architects is on the northern bank of the canal, less then 1km from the city center. The timber structure, with its elaborate curving form, creates a wonderful swimming area as it weaves along the solid canal edge. This shape forms areas perfect for swimming. Giving both a sense of protection and thrill as you share the same waterbody as passing boats and kayaks.
I have been told that the area was never intended as a swimming location. Word has it, that the bright orange ladders leading out of the water were only to allow those who accidentally fall in, and easy climb to safety. But maybe this is just the genius in the design. Using a safety strategy to create great public activity. Whatever the design intention, I’m sure it offers a ‘happy place’ to many Copenhageners.
This morning I woke at 5am to the Scandinavian blue sky out my window, the sun already high in the sky.
The Kastrup Sea Bath is a joyful 45 minute bike ride out of Copenhagen. This timber structure sits 50m off shore and provides a unique bathing experience. The circular shape alludes to traditional ways of bathing. Whether it be a waterhole in the Australian bush, a Finnish sauna, or a Turkish bath the space feels communal and inclusive. Although the detailing still allows for privacy, you don’t feel over exposed while sunning your body.
One thing I love about Danish bathing structures is that there is no shortage of diving boards. Here we have a 3m and a 5m opportunity for kids to fling themselves into the deep blue see.
The timber walls that surround the bathing area have been carefully designed to block the wind. This is defiantly useful, but it’s a tiny shame that they also block the view out to Sweden.
All in all, a great place to spend a sunny morning.
It has been unreal moving to Copenhagen, and submerging myself into the urban design world once again. My final design proposal whilst studying at QUT was a speculation for Alberslund Syd. It proposed a concept of urban gardening and bicycle recycling as a means for the community to support itself in a tough economic environment. The organisations and individuals i have met since moving here are actively contributing to this reality. Not in Alberslund Syd itself but throughout Copenhagen.
Creative Roots, a co-creative collective I have become involved with who are based in Fredricksberg, are working on a number of exciting projects that will involve the greater community to have an active roll in the resign of their public urban space. Including pop up gardens, open lads and street activation strategies.
Byhaven2200, which i could rave on and on about, is such a lovely place. Through focusing strongly on permaculture principles, this community garden is thriving in both social, political and environmental aspects. Every Wednesday 3-6pm and Saturday 12-3pm keen gardeners gather together to get there hands dirty. The reward is plentiful. This week I harvested so much leafy green veg, including kale, silverbeet varieties, lettuce, oregano, sage, mint, parsley, corn flowers and more.
It is a fantastic feeling to fall asleep at night smiling about how what was once a visualisation has become my reality.
I was honorer to receive the Landscape Architecture Australia prize for design communication in 2011 for Alberslund Cycle
I stumbled upon this pocket of fun on my walk home today. Situated on Nansensgade in Nørreport, this basketball court/skate park is a beautiful example of how multiple recreational functions can overlap in a dense inner city environment. The skating surfaces also function as seats. While I was visiting the space, a group of men came to play badminton on the court while another was bouldering on a climbing wall on the adjacent building.
Overlap-So much fun can be had in one small urban space.
Happy Wall, in central Copenhagen is a giant pixle sceen made by recycling artist Thomas Dambo. The screen consists of nearly 2000 wooden boards, made out of the remnants of Tuborg’s cinema tribune at Roskilde Festival 2013. This temporary urban instillation gives life and vitality to a city square that would otherwise be left as a ‘nothing space’ until the adjacent construction is finished
This is a joyful interactive street art instilation on the fence surrounding a construction site. It is a temporary urban intervention that shows the attention to detail and importance of design to Copenhageners. https://www.facebook.com/events/639304192821516/
Get high on life at Enghave Plads, Copenhagen