an OMA-designed building perched on copenhagen’s harbor front is set to become a new must-visit destination for architecture enthusiasts. this spring, after four years of construction, ‘BLOX’ opens its doors to the public, becoming a hub for the built environment and urban solutions. the building includes the danish architecture center, the country’s meeting place for architecture, design and urban culture, and BLOXHUB, an innovation hub that brings together various companies, organizations, and researchers.

oma blox copenhagen
all images by rasmus hjortshøj – COAST

 

 

the project, which is OMA’s first in denmark, is described by the firm as being ‘a linear display of the tenets of danish modernism: monumentality, simplicity and politeness’. designed by OMA partner ellen van loon, the complex includes new public spaces, a harbor promenade, bridges, a café/restaurant with canal side terrace, a fitness center, apartments, and a playground designed for visitors of all ages. the internal program is organized as a vertical sequence, contained within a series of rectangular volumes.

oma blox copenhagen

 

 

built and funded by danish philanthropic association realdania, the development’s focal point is the danish architecture centre (DAC). occupying a central position in BLOX, the institution will offer exhibitions, guided tours, events, a design shop, a café, and conference and teaching facilities. here, everyone is invited to take part in inspiring knowledge, experiences and fresh perspectives on architecture’s potential to improve living conditions for the many.

 

speaking to designboom, ellen van loon mentioned, it is an architectural center that feels more like an architecture office, because you see the work produced.’ the architect also referred the extensive use of glass on the structure: buildings are not like a piece of art that you don’t like and then you put it in a cabinet – you need to think about what the changes are in our society and what the next generation might want.’ ‘with the older generation I have a bigger discussion about privacy – they don’t want to be seen – but the young generation wants it, they want the interaction,’ she continued, when you go to this building, we have a fitness club totally exposed and there are guys there weightlifting, showing off their muscles- and they are happy doing it.’

oma blox copenhagen

 

 

‘our driving ambition is to inspire the danes and international tourists who visit DAC to venture out and experience architecture on a 1:1 scale in its ideal element — the city itself,’ says kent martinussen, CEO of danish architecture center. ‘DAC will be a must-see destination for architecture and design enthusiasts from around the world.’ DAC opens with ‘welcome home’, an exhibition that offers different perspectives on danish homes and housing dreams that raise questions about the way we live today.

oma blox copenhagen

 

 

meanwhile, BLOXHUB, an urban innovation hub that seeks to create solutions for better cities, will also move into the building. the organization is founded on the belief that the challenges of global urbanization and climate change require a collaborative approach in tech, architecture, design, construction, and research. ‘by bridging architecture, design, construction and digitalization, we can unlock the full potential of cities as engines for growth and development and as places where people want to live,’ explains torben klitgaard, BLOXHUB director. ‘a stronger collaboration across sectors is crucial to creating better cities.’

 

BLOX opens to the public on may 6, 2018 with events taking place both inside and outside the new building.

oma blox copenhagen

oma blox copenhagen

oma blox copenhagen

oma blox copenhagen

oma blox copenhagen

oma blox copenhagen

oma blox copenhagen

oma blox copenhagen

oma blox copenhagen

 

 

designboom is a media partner of CAFx and visited BLOX during the opening weekend. CAFx explores and presents ideas on the relation between the architectural world and human life through a broad public program of talks, films, performances, workshops, seminars and exhibitions and takes place from 3 to 16 may 2018. 

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