RC - Copenhagen, Amerika Plads - America Square

Short description: 

The Dutch firm of architects West 8, spearheaded by Adriaan Geuze, has drafted the general plan for the area. West 8 has generally attempted to exploit the fact that industry has vacated the area to reclaim the port for Copenhageners. The philosophy is to create a compact and active urban environment characterized by large building complexes varying in shape and height. At street level, shops and cafés will emerge onto an elongated square in the centre of the site. The square affords access to and from DFDS Seaways' new ferry terminal and the ferries to Oslo and Poland. In its bid to create a quarter with a buzz most of the day and night, commercial buildings have been blended with residential buildings. As long as the influx of people is still too small to operate a shop in the area, small studios for drawing offices and suchlike can be fitted up in retail outlet premises. 



The area is situated east of railway and road, thus separated from neighbouring areas. Much attention has been given to this fact. One or two bridges are established or planned + a widening of an existing viaduct under the railway, + furnishing the viaduct with shops and alike + ameliorating access and services at the local S-train station. Furthermore special shops and services should render the area attractive to non-habitants.

Start date: 
2001
Implementation date: 
2004
Place: 
Copenhagen
Country: 
Denmark
Completion date: 
2009

Scale
local

Type(s) MILU

Interweaving: use of the same space for different functions.
Intensifying of space for one function.
Layering: use of the third dimension of space. e.g. the underground.

Theme(s)

RED - the urban fabric and its infrastructure.


BLUE - water-systems and water related issues.

Partners

Initiative: 
Copenhagen Municipality + Copenhagen Harbour (?)
Planning and design:
West 8

Realisation:
 Private enterprises

Lessons learned

Identity: Essential are the preserved and renewed old harbour function buildings. Additional several ny designed landmark buildings of spectacular height and spectacular names, built by some of the most well known architects of Denmark. 

Adriaan Geuze has been very anxious to create 'critical mass' concerning residential area and physical denseness, in order to secure customers and visitors for shops, cafés and other services - and outdoor 'life' in general. Much of the ground floor area is for this reason planned and prepared for shops, restaurants and other public friendly functions. 



Connections to the rest of the city: One or two bridges are established or planned + a widening of an existing viaduct under the railway, + furnishing the viaduct with shops and alike to + ameliorating access and services at the local S-train station. 

Noise problems: Especially the ferry terminals generate noise more than usually or normally permitted to-day, even in areas of mixed residential/business use. This has led to much discussion, resulting in a new regulation, permitting more noise under certain circomstances, for example these - in order to secure "life" in the area. Discussions of building heights: Two of the buildings are significantly higher than permitted until then and resulted in big discussions in the town council before acceptance.

The residences are mix of owned and rented flats - all very expensive. Which generally is accepted.