Diversify Now! Alternative housing forms
Vandkunsten Architects
2018 - oct 2020

Di­ver­sity and more com­mu­nity, please

How do we get a more differentiated housing market in Denmark?

Community and diversity in the ways we live and interact is a cornerstone in the architectural practice of Vandkunsten Architects. That is why we have initiated the research project “DiversifyNow!”. The project investigates existing cases and examples of alternative housing forms in order to develop new alternative housing products for the Danish market.

Particular focus is on community-oriented and cooperative housing and building forms which can contribute to long term resilient and socially sustainable neighbourhoods, as well as facilitate a resource-saving lifestyle. Both the inhabitants’, the developers’ and the decision makers’ perspectives are important, to document spatial and social organization patterns.

The projects questions the boundaries for the building industry in Denmark today and points towards how financing and regulation better can support a more diversified housing supply.

The main aim of the project is to develop new housing concepts and products, in parallel with development of a manifesto and debate about housing policy. In the product development phase, a workshop series focused on discussing a housing utopia will be a central element, with invited representative form the building industry and inhabitants with experience from alternative housing projects.

The project is supported by the Innovation Fund through the Industrial Post Doc programme.

Vandkunsten's own cases

The more in depth Danish cases are to a large extent from Vandkunsten’s own portfolio, where from the beginning a fundamental principle for the office has been to create new sustainable ways to build housing, at the same time as academic affiliation with the Danish National Building Research Institute ensures a wider academic relevance.

Integration of students and refugees in Trekroner

Tunet in Trekroner has created a community in which students and young refugees can socialize in a shared courtyard space and a joint garden. Keeping the rent low has been central and this has led to innovation in terms of technology, socially as well as organizational processes in the social housing organization.

Building community in Køge Kyst

With more than 40 units, the Co-building project Fællesbyg Køge Kyst is pioneering Danish construction as the largest multi-story self-build project. The project is inspired by the German ‘Baugemeinschafte’ model and it will be interesting to see if the project can break ground for new user driven building processes in Denmark.

Container housing on temporary urban building plots

CPH Village is a startup that challenges students to live together in temporary villages and at very limited spaces- the organization of the housing form has challenged the conventional building sector as well as the national planning act in order to realize their first project. The company sees themselves as housing pioneers and a housing laboratory

A modern touch to contemporary self-build

Developing the potentials of modern self-build such as in Fiskerhavnen in Copenhagen  could challenge conventional construction.

Project facts


Project name: Diversify Now! Alternative housing forms

Category:Housing, R&D

Client: Vandkunsten Architects and supported by the Innovation Fund

Location: Vandkunsten Architects

Date: 2018 - oct 2020

Status: Ongoing

Cost of construction: DKK 1,4 Mio


Program: Alternative housing forms

Activity: Research and design

Job type: Industrial Post doc

Contact: Silje Erøy Sollien, ses@vandkunst.dk

Project group: Søren Nielsen, Jan Albrechtsen, Pernille Schyum Poulsen, Anne-Mette Manelius Greisen, Katrine West Kristensen, Mirjam Hallin, Salma Zavari, Asbjørn Staunstrup Lund, Marie-Gesine Kauschen, Christian Stahlfest Holck Skov, Kristian Martinsen, Kim Dalgaard, Silje Erøy Sollien


Architect: Vandkunsten

Consultant: Akademisk mentor Claus Bech-Danielsen (SBi)