kengo kuma & associates has won the 1st prize for the international competition to design the waterfront cultural center in copenhagen — a project developed in collaboration with cornelius+vöge aps (associate architects), søren jensen engineers (engineering design) and niels sigsgaard (consulting architect). located in paper island, the design aims to highlight the significance of water in the history, culture and vibrant urban life in the city.

kengo kuma waterfront cultural center copenhagen designboom
the design aims to highlight the significance of water in the history, culture and vibrant urban life in the city
all images © by kengo kuma and associates, luxigon

 

 

the waterfront culture center by kengo kuma wants to create an experience, and not just a standalone object, in the form of the landscape, art and architecture that are unified and defined by the water. the proposal offers diverse experiences of water in various states and conditions such as reflection of light and shadow, steam and flow that appeal to human senses.

kengo kuma waterfront cultural center copenhagen designboom
the winning proposal offers diverse experiences of water in various states and conditions

 

 

situated in the larger development plan of the island, the architectural form is comprised of a series of pyramid shapes that respond to the roof profile of christiansholm. it does not have a single front, but it is multi-directional, allowing it to be recognizable and accessible from various directions. it offers an spontaneous, open, and tangible space that carries the memory of the vibrant and dynamic nature of the present paper island.

kengo kuma waterfront cultural center copenhagen designboom
the architectural form is comprised of a series of pyramid shapes

 

 

the ground floor plane of the indoor to outdoor and to the sea is designed in a single gesture. its landscaping, created in a terracing and cascading manner, creates an expansive, continuous perception of water surface from indoor all the way to the harbor. the design attempts to soften and dissolve the edge and blur the sense of the boundaries with the land. a series of cone-shaped volumes in various proportions are generated by being pushed and pulled vertically and horizontally to create particular experiences for each project. the cone shape roofs extruded above correspond to the division of pools at the ground floor.

kengo kuma waterfront cultural center copenhagen designboom
a series of cone-shaped volumes  are generated by being pushed and pulled vertically and horizontally

 

 

brick has been chosen to relate to the context of the area and to highlight the quality and aesthetic of the traditional danish craft. the proposal expresses the potential of the material in its small scale texture featuring in the large scale of the architecture. the various levels of opacity and transparency of the façade make it glow with warm light at night and in the cold season when dark hours last long.

kengo kuma waterfront cultural center copenhagen designboom
brick has been chosen to relate to the context of the area

kengo kuma waterfront cultural center copenhagen designboom
the proposal expresses the potential of brick in its small scale texture

kengo kuma waterfront cultural center copenhagen designboom
various levels of opacity and transparency of the façade make it glow with warm light

kengo kuma waterfront cultural center copenhagen designboom
the project is situated in copenhagen’s paper island

kengo kuma waterfront cultural center copenhagen designboom
plan

 

 

project info:

 

project name: waterfront cultural center with harbor baths at paper island
location: copenhagen, denmark

total area: approx. 5,000 m2

  • Wow! Build it Copenhagen! I can’t wait to go there. Reminds me in a good sense of Peter Zumthors Therme in Vals, which has been a great experience for me.
    Pure combination of nature and culture at it’s best in these ideas.

    Stephan says:

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