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.
Better living with us
New homes in the old torpedo boat workshop
The MTB hall was built in 1954 as a place for repairing and maintaining boats for the Danish Navy, especially motor torpedo boats. The architecture reflects the prevailing enthusiasm at the time for large structures in reinforced concrete and steel with a main space of 32 x 160 x 15 metres. When the Danish Navy abandoned Holmen, an islet in Copenhagen Harbour, in the 1990s, the area was selected for urban development. The building tycoon Kurt Thorsen saw the potential for converting the huge empty concrete structure into a residential complex and approached Vandkunsten Architects. We preserved the rough construction elements and designed homes around a large street that is open to the sky, close to the city and directly on the waterfront.
House in the harbour
The site is Teglværkshavnen in the Copenhagen Harbour. Large scale, large building volumes and large spaces between buildings. Qualities at the water’s edge are: the water! the reflections, the long views and the big skies. However, the entire district appears unstructured. It is wind-swept and dominated by large commercial headquarters. Our building complex is designed for this context. We attempt to establish a humanist medium scale among the commercial mastodons. A number of precisely defined building volumes with living units that are designed for living and fit into the large-scale surroundings.
Reused Construction Materials
Material waste is the ‘dark side’ of renovation in construction and discarded materials and components potentially represent a triple capital related to economy, energy, and culture. The project explores, by devising and con-structing 20 full-scale prototypes, new practices for high-level reuse of dismantled building components and materials at all product stages from sourcing to disassembly. >> Download the report (2017)
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.
Transitions between archipelago and the city
Since 2000 the development of Oslo has followed the Fjord City masterplan for areas fjord waterfront. The Opera House was built according to this plan. In 2012 Vandkunsten Architects won the competition for two plots in the Bispevika area neighboring the Opera neighborhood. It is currently under construction. The new residential area is located on the waterfront in central Oslo. Contrasting the dense and high buildings behind it, we have used characteristics from natural archipelagos that is a series of spatial transitions – from the open sea to the calm inland waters – and to the little rock you climb with the feeling of being the very first.
Modern living in Diakonissestiftelsen
The area of the Diakonisestiftelsen at Frederiksberg had the character of an area for institutions and wished to transform into a more diverse living environment built on a common cultural and religious fundament. Vandkunsten was one of two winners of a parallel competition to reactivate the classical buildings on the plot accompanied by new, modern housing. The result was a vision plan of 2020, and the role as technical consultant for the foundation. Together with DEM & Esbensen engineers (consultancy) and Marianne Levinsen landskab, Vandkunsten was responsible for the construction of the first half of a total of 100 units for senior housing in the plan. The targeted segment is above 55 years and are offered a strong, local community – played out in shared facilities such as a mixed-use hall, cafées, apple groves and laundries.