Varbergparken social housing estate
The latest stage in the transformation of the Varbergparken estate in Haderslev has just topped out, a renovation of four blocks that is the most radical change in an area that has already seen a number of significant changes. Varbergparken in Haderslev contains 508 housing units, 24 studios, a cafe, laundrette, social spaces and the administration of the Haderslev Social Housing Association HAB.
The estate is a typical 1970s industrialized housing scheme, for up to 1200 inhabitants. A long term initiative for urban renewal, energy renovation and social regeneration is currently transforming the area, including re-design of the outdoor spaces and architecturally and energetically upgrading the housing units.
Varbergparken is attractively situated in a high location, surrounded by a hilly green landscape. The renewal of the outdoor spaces picks up the qualities of the site, to create an overall coherence. New connections, passages and shortcuts into the surrounding urban fabric play a crucial role, as do the introduction of new uses and the integration of workplaces in the housing environment.
The first phases of the transformation have been completed already, rebuilding a series of housing blocks into a new Alzheimer’s facility with 70 care homes, a public health centre and a municipal service centre. Apart form the architectural renovation, with new and light facades; this has created 300 new workplaces in the area, as an important part of the social regeneration project.
The renovated facades are sub-divided, to break down the monotony of the block structure, and relate better to the human scale. Varied use of materials, new balcony layouts, and open and inviting glazed vertical accesses are part of the design of the phase I.
One of the strategies in the architectural transformation is to not only replace the outdated monotonous architecture with a new, unified appearance. Instead, different solutions are adopted for the different blocks. For instance, the later phases of the development include demolishing parts of the blocks, to create smaller free-standing housing volumes.
Phase II – Varbergparken block 15
Central block 15 is now transformed into an eco-friendly, low-energy class 1+ building with large glass partitions and elevated walkways. Three connected blocks have been refurbished with new, white façades and converted to house a centre for dementia patients, including 70 residential units and a service centre in attractive, new garden spaces, as well as a new municipal healthcare centre.
The new activities have created 300 new jobs, thus meeting an important requirement in the community action plan for the area. Future refurbishments will include converting a number of blocks into free-standing housing with views in all directions, which will open new pathways through the landscape.
The new traffic layout, which is designed primarily to accommodate public transport services, cyclists and pedestrians, features a new and outstanding combined road and footbridge, clad with COR-TEN™ steel, which spans a natural gorge in the terrain.
A central feature in Varbergparken is The Activity Park, where materials and installations of different kinds invite people to engage in physical activities at many different levels, depending on their age and physical adroitness. Source by C. F. Møller Architects.
Location: Varbergvej, Haderslev, Denmark
Architects: C. F. Møller Architects
Landscape Architect: C. F. Møller Architects
Engineers: Hundsbæk & Henriksen A/S
Client: Haderslev Andels Boligforening (Haderslev Social Housing Association)
Area: 9000 m2 CSD, 3900 m2 (block 15), 61000 m2 landscape
Year: Competition 2006
Realization: 2008 -2010- 2015
Photographs: Julian Weyer, Courtesy of C. F. Møller Architects