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A Tall Building In Carlsberg
Carlsberg, Copenhagen. In collaboration with Vemund N Tjessem. 2015.

This project takes on the booming business of building tall in Copenhagen. The city’s border was breeched a long time ago, and now there is the two options: keep expanding the horisontal periphery or expand vertically.

This was a joint thesis together with Vemund N Tjessem. We studied the challenges of constructing a tower in Carlsberg, an area of Copenhagen going through extreme changes with the development of turning the former Carlsberg brewery campus into a densely populated neighborhood. The firm Entasis’ vision won the international masterplan competition that took place in 2007, and in it were nine towers. Eight years later the construction of the first tower has begun. Even before the tower is completed we see a huge gap between the culturally and historically rich Carlsberg, and the future developing of the vertical living. Contextual layers and elements are neglected for the cheapest solution possible.  

The interesting observation we found analyzing the masterplan’s towers is that they can all seem to derive from the four generations of skyscrapers in New York - first the sole tower - exploiting the lot. Second the setback tower, pulling back to optimize light conditions and to achieve taller towers. Third the international style modernistic tower - set back at ground level to create and public plazas. Fourth the post-modern towers - going back to the first generations zoning conditions for better air and light qualities.

The big difference between the American towers and the European towers is that the towers in America is a natural continuation and expansion of the underlaying parcel grid. In Europe the towers were introduced to solve housing problems in specific parts of cities - and often placed in areas with a lot of nature around, almost to justify the vertical habitation.

We found the new Carlsberg masterplan to be interesting because of its implementation of the towers as a part of the dense urban fabric. These planned volumes offered a great opportunity to study towers in direct relations to the city of Copenhagen.

The design of Tower 04 is complex but can broken down into six main principles:

Tower 04 is a homogenous, uniform sculpture that presumes to combine tower, tower base and adjacent city block into one figure.
Tower 04 is a mix of apartments, offices and cultural program - to live, to work and to visit.
Tower 04 brakes down the huge scale of the building by folding down a public promenade that wraps around and binds the mixed program and the three building components.
Tower 04 lifts the surrounding urban space and establishes a public terrace that acts as a transition between tower and city block.
Tower 04 is covered with grey hanging brick tiles that connects the building with the existing fabric of Copenhagen, yet it also is a material that manages to clothe the large scale of a tower.
Tower 04 acts as an anchoring point that frames the adjacent buildings and urban space in the transition between Copenhagens old Vesterbro neighborhood and the new Carlsberg neighborhood.

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