Henning Larsen and Ramboll double down on sustainable leadership with large timber building in Copenhagen. The building, which will be one of the largest contemporary wood structures in Denmark, combines office, retail, and public program on the popular Nordhavn waterfront and features a welcoming green plaza, lush rooftop gardens, promenades and a waterfront park.
At the start of the new millennium, Copenhagen’s Nordhavn district was still a primarily industrial neighborhood. In the years since, steady growth with an eye on innovation has helped the waterfront area to become a testing ground for prototypical concepts, from self-driving buses to buildings made of recycled bricks. Henning Larsen’s and Ramboll’s design for a 28.000 m2, 8 story multi-user commercial building for the Danish pension fund AP Pension is no exception.
Putting UN’s Sustainable Development Goals first
Sustainability is key in the upcoming multiuser office building at Marmormolen in Copenhagen’s Nordhavn, as the structure of the building will be entirely wooden. Timber, in stark contrast to concrete, stores embodied carbon. Thus, by swapping out the structural concrete with timber, the structure will embed tons of carbon instead of emitting tons.
“Today, it is imperative that architecture challenges our usual notion of structures and materials. The construction industry is a major emitter of CO2, and we therefore also have great opportunities to make things better. We’re excited to be working with AP Pension on a project that puts sustainability and sustainable strategies such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals first, says Søren Øllgaard,” Partner & Design Director at Henning Larsen.
Marmormolen is an ideal spot for a large-scale concept for modern workspace with urban life, shops, restaurants and public transportation close by. Situated on the waterfront, Marmormolen is surrounded by green urban space on three out of four sides, between a green plaza to the south and a future waterfront park.
The building is designed to click into the context and thus rises to its full eight stories towards a busy street and train tracks and steps down to three stories towards the neighboring housing on the opposite side. Even though the building is one big volume, it is divided into smaller cubes that can express the different tenants. Each cube has its own rooftop that feature terrasses and gardens with great biodiversity, beehives, butterfly hotels and vegetable production for the canteen.
A Marketplace for Community Making
Unlike typical, closed office environments, Marmormolen is conceived as a marketplace for ideas, the ground floor an open and flexible extension of the public waterfront adjacent to the building. The building’s multi-users profile, the diversity of extroverted programs and publicly accessible ground floor – outside and inside – makes Marmormolen the antithesis of a traditional and introverted domicile.
“Workplaces used to be very interior and exclusive, but people today want to feel they are a part of a more diverse community and open up to their surroundings. With Marmormolen we want to create more than a great office building, we also want it to give something back to the city and makes the building come alive – even outside office hours,” says Mikkel Eskildsen, Associate Design Director and Lead Design Architect on the project.
With a transparent, open and inviting ground floor, Marmormolen will be a sustainable setting for a vibrant marketplace. Inside, the ground level will hold amenities for the tenants such as a large cantina and auditorium, which will double as a public eatery and venue for theaters, flea markets etc. respectively.
On upper levels, workplaces enjoy views of uninterrupted skies, the sea and the skyline of Copenhagen. In the center there’s access to a large courtyard with greenery and good exposure to sunlight. Marmormolen, designed by Henning Larsen and Ramboll for the Danish pension fund, AP Pension, will break ground in early 2022, and is expected to open in 2024. Source and images Courtesy of Henning Larsen.