At Vandkunsten Architects we design architecture for people. Our houses are designed for the ways that people live, work, play, and think. Housing, buildings, and cities must be at eye level and make room for communities.
We only designs cities where we want to live ourselves
Building groups influence their future homes
At a plot in the new development of Køge Kyst a housing project shaped by the future inhabitants is taking shape. This way of building originates in Germany, so-called ‘baugruppen’, and is an attractive building model as the inhabitants are given influence over the physical frames they are going to move into, both their private dwellings and shared spaces. In addition to this, the costs of the developer are saved. Building groups are a great supplement to the Danish housing market, contributing to a more diverse offer. The process of developing these projects consists of several phases, including the establishing of an association by the inhabitants. Within the association the framework for the building and design process are provided. It is also the association that hires a contractor for the construction of the building. To prepare the ground for these projects to happen, Vandkunsten together with the fund Selskabet for Billige Boliger and Køge Kyst Development Company established a partnership.
Building materials into circuit
With 30 partners from the cities of Copenhagen, Hamburg, London, and Helsinki, Vandkunsten is to pave the way for circular economy and regenerative cities. CIRCuIT is the title of the research and innovation project funded by the EU. An abbreviation for Circular Construction In Regenerative Cities, the aim is to act as catalysts for the cities to take advantage of their built in resources, The City of Copenhagen was the applicant for the grant application to the Horizon 2020 framework program of the European Union. and the city is the managing partner.
Character and variation
After completing the master plan and local planning process, Vandkunsten was asked to design projects in the plan for housing developer Gefion. This project features housing and retail. The two building of this phase of the development is surrounded by a luscious and green courtyard and a lively streetscape. Retail is the function of the ground floor facing Amager Strandvej. The concrete building has sandwich panels with concrete and faced with masonry. This heavy element façade system could easily result in a clumsy expression. Luckily the construction system allowed us to take advantage of qualities of brick made possible by the construction technique at a factory. As a consequence we introduce new patterns and recesses that hide the sad joints and add texture to the façade.
Village with an ambition for growth
The town of Årslev/Sdr.Nærå of 3.700 citizens is experiencing a remarkable 20 percent growth in the last decade, which is uncommon for rural Danish towns. The town has a strong community and it is surrounded by nature. The ambition is clear for the town and it wants to attract another 1.200 residents or 10 percent before 2030. This is the reason why the municipality of Faaborg-Midtfyn launched two competitions in 2018. Vandkunsten won one of them with a clear concept for developing a town and creating an identity, which balances between urbanity and nature. Embracing the open landscape, the main idea is to let the town grow in urban islands in surrounded by nature. This is possible because the density of the neighborhood clusters is high. The major benefit is the direct access to nature by basically all units. Inspired by the masterplan laytout of the numerous manors in the region, each cluster will be developed with urban typologies such as a local square and passageways. Each cluster has its architectural identity from the local landscape, such as the Hill, the Stream, and the Woods.
Living together in modern co-housing
A start-up approached Vandkunsten Architects with a vision to create a series of modern co-housing villages with plenty of shared facilities, and community feeling. Vandkunsten has developed a comprehensive building system and a series of site-specific master plans for the client. The cohousing concept offers endless variations on a theme and the different spatial-unit designs are used as an architectural tool for providing variation in the village and flexibility for its inhabitants. The formal design creates a separate identity and adds new spatial qualities to the houses. The buildings themselves and life within them promote a special concept for the community. Eco-Villages are currently under development in Lejre, Albertslund and Ørestad. The Eco-Village concept consists of small, compact living units with small front gardens – put together as row houses on a shared lot. The architectural concept is realized through the usage of affordable box modules A generous influx of light is ensured by the building depth of no more than 7.5 metres. Extra rooms can be added to this basic module and be combined to form a variety of layouts to satisfy different needs: from the tiny micro-unit – intended as student digs, single-parent homes, or senior residences – to the largest unit of 125m2, with enough space for several play rooms and nurseries. 12% of the built floor space is shared, in the form of a large community house and several smaller facilities distributed across the development. These can be used as music rooms and workshops, teenage dens and tool sheds