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.