COBE architects' karen blixens plads is an urban plaza of bicycle hills + plants in copenhagen

COBE architects' karen blixens plads is an urban plaza of bicycle hills + plants in copenhagen

COBE architects has completed karen blixens plads, one of the largest urban plazas in copenhagen, situated between the newly built university of copenhagen and the nature reserve amager commons. a hybrid between a park and a public square, the project comprises a unique undulating landscape of bicycle hills and plant beds, spanning across 20,000 sqm and offering room for more than 2,000 parked bicycles – two-thirds of them in covered spaces inside the bicycle hills.all images by rasmus hjortshøj – COAST


with more than 40% of the city’s inhabitants riding their bike for their daily commute, copenhagen is one of the world’s leading bicycle cities, thus requiring a large amount of urban spaces for bicycle parking. COBE architectskaren blixens plads urban plaza has been designed to provide an adequate solution for the university of copenhagen’s bicycle parking problem, creating room for approximately 2,000 bikes. ‘for a decade, the university of copenhagen has faced a big challenge: how to provide an adequate solution for the massive amount of bicycles parked in front of the main entrance to the university,’ explains the danish studio. ‘the result is a combined urban space and park area that accommodates and promotes green transportation, climate change adaptation and biodiversity.’



now one of copenhagen’s largest public spaces, karen blixens plads is designed as a carpet that covers an undulating terrain of hills. bicycle pockets and covered parking have been designed under three central hills, creating room for approximately 2,000 bicycles in three types of parking: bicycle hills and two types of bicycle beds, both uncovered and covered, and slightly lowered in the ground. as a result, a central meeting place is established as the heart of the square, connecting the main entrances to the university, while offering a vast variety of urban spaces, which are well connected within the city fabric and highly accessible for all users. additionally, the landscape of the neighboring common is connected with the urban space by forming a gradual green transition from the common to the university square.


project info:


name: karen blixens plads

architect: COBE architects

location: copenhagen, denmark

client: danish building and property agency and the private foundation a.p. møller og hustru chastine mc-kinney møllers fond til almene formaal

program: urban plaza at the university of copenhagen

size: 21,415 m2

status: 1st prize in competition in 2014, completed in 2019

collaborators: EKJ, CN3, vind-vind, m.j. eriksson, NCC danmark

team: dan stubbergaard, caroline nagel, maria aufegger, karoline liedtke, matilda andersson, birk folke daugaard, christian sander, ben james, joachim makholm michelsen, ludvig holtenäs

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