Albertslund South (Albertslund Syd)
2014 - 2022
Preservation through transformation
The Atrium Houses in Albertslund South belong to the generation of large-scale, low-rise, high-density developments that shot up in Danish suburbs in the 1960s. An industrialized and uniform development in a technical quality that, unfortunately, has called for improvement through numerous renovations over the years. As part of a project competition, Vandkunsten paved the way for a new renovation practice by bringing both sustainability and autonomy to the Atrium Houses. Vandkunsten’s winning proposal aimed for ‘preservation through transformation’. The approach revolves primarily around modifying the landscaping and urban spaces to allow for new kinds of activities. The project deliverable contains a large assembly of options and leaves it up to the housing association and the tenants to pick and choose and coordinate solutions. The renovation of the more than 1,000 homes will be ongoing until 2022.
Tenants have a say all the way
‘I don’t think there’s any other place in the world where tenants have the same degree of influence as they do in this development. Naturally, this speaks directly to our hearts and aligns perfectly with our mantra of democratic architecture.’
– Klaus Richter Gydesen, Architect
Before - Principles and materials come to the test
With 1000+ houses to be renovated, series of solutions are validated by 1:1 mockups in test houses. Winning the competition of the renovation of the Atritum Houses, we saw a possibility to mark a turning point in large non-profit renovation and for Danish building practice in general: here was the chance to build and rebuild with a noticeable reduced load of waste.
The ‘x box’
One of the popular options is the so-called x box, an annex made of recycled construction wood that can be placed facing either the access side or the atrium side. X boxes are available in several variants and may, for example, be turned into a garden shed, a porch or a pergola, based on drawings by Vandkunsten. The residents can either build the boxes themselves or commission the work from a builder.
Project name: Renovation of the Atrium Houses (Gårdhusene)
Client: Boligselskabet BO-VEST, Albertslund Boligselskab SYD
Location: Albertslund South (Albertslund Syd)
Gross area: 110,000 m²
Date: 2014 - 2022
Status: Phase 1 completed, Phase 2 in tender
Number of units: 1001
Cost of construction: DKK 1,500,000
Program: Renovation of not-profit housing
Job type: 1st Prize in competition for masterplan for urban transformation
Contact: Søren Nielsen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Engineer: Wissenberg a/s (totalrådgiver)
Consultant: Sociolog Lise Gamst, Urbano, Transolar, Imgaine Envelope, Daniel Wedel fra Soul Food, Simon Austin og Mark Vacher.