Vision for BLOX

BLOX creates a new and extraordinary venue for life in the city. 

BLOX is also initiating several new bridges that are going up across and along the harbour. Bridges that tie the city and the harbour together. Bridges that create new connections. 

BLOX provides a setting for recreational outdoor urban spaces, playgrounds, homes and cafés as well as a unique forum for the built environment with room for work, exhibitions, research and reflection. This is going to be an extraordinary place. A place that embraces both popular and professional activities. A shared place for the creative professions involved in urban development, construction, architecture and design.

A place that is open to everyone and brimming with exciting attractions – from exhibitions over lectures and workshops to a restaurant and a bookstore.

BLOX – an active asset for Copenhagen and for Denmark.

BLOX at a glance

This page provides an overview of the many different functions at BLOX. Simply slide your cursor to any of the headings underneath the illustration and click to access text, images and film.

In addition to the functions mentioned in the overview, a pedestrian bridge across Frederiksholms Kanal was established in spring 2016, providing a link between the former royal brewhouse, Chr. IVs Bryghus, and BLOX/Fæstningens Materialgård. More than 1,000 pedestrians use this bridge on a daily basis.

BLOX will be finished by the end of 2017 with the official opening scheduled for spring 2018.

Flats

To ensure life on the site, also after office hours, the project includes 22 flats.

These rental flats have a quality finish that matches the attractive waterfront location and are designed with a modern and flexible interior layout.

The flats are sheltered from traffic noise and feature roof-top terraces.

The 22 homes on the top floors of BLOX will bring more residents to the area. All the flats are subject to a primary residence requirement and are leased on normal market conditions. The flats are going to vary in size from approximately 100 to just under 200 square metres.

BLOXHUB

Like the neighbouring buildings in Fæstningens Materialgård, BLOX is going to be occupied exclusively by companies that are members of BLOXHUB – an association and co-working space made up of companies, organizations and researchers involved in various aspects of sustainable urban development.

The role of BLOXHUB is to provide a shared platform for architecture, design, construction and digitization. The association is also going to drive activities and programmes specifically designed to help companies realize their full potential and optimize their sales and exports capacity.

These activities include acceleration programmes; matchmaking between companies, partners and foundations; debates; lectures; state-of-the-union surveys; pitching sessions; and a variety of collaborations between companies and research environments.

Go to bloxhub.org if you would like to know more about BLOXHUB’s activities and the conditions for membership.

BLOXHUB meets an important need

Denmark is a highly competent actor within architecture, construction, urban development and design, but we are challenged by competition from abroad that puts our pricing and knowledge levels under pressure. This has led to a need for a player such as BLOXHUB to support the development of new Danish solutions and promote exports to help the field benefit more from international urbanization.

BLOXHUB was founded by Realdania, the Danish Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs and the City of Copenhagen.

BLOXHUB currently has some 110 members, 10 of which have already relocated to Fæstningens Materialgård.

DAC

The Danish Architecture Centre (DAC) is going to be an important part of BLOX. As Denmark’s national centre for architecture, DAC is both a cultural attraction for the general public and a professional meeting place for knowledge sharing, networking and development among the parties involved in construction and urban development.

DAC will have exhibition spaces with room for architecture experiences of an international calibre. Here, children and adults can study architecture. Families can build their own city in LEGO or engage in other forms of creative learning. The café will serve coffee or lunch, for example on one of the three roof-top terraces overlooking the harbour. And the shop will offer books and design objects.

State-of-the-art conference facilities and a large auditorium will form the setting for networking, debate and lecture events. DAC is going to be a natural meeting place in the city and in the industry, attracting a broad Danish audience as well as international visitors.

The Danish Architecture Centre occupies a central location in the building. The public-access exhibition halls and the conference venue will provide settings for debate and learning about architecture and construction. The entrance to DAC is through the building’s main entrance, DACs Passage.

What the Danish Architecture Centre does

The Danish Architecture Centre is Denmark’s national centre for the development and dissemination of knowledge about architecture, building and urban development.

The goal of the Danish Architecture Centre is to generate broad interest in architectural, urban and landscape development and to serve as a platform for networking, debate and knowledge sharing in order to pave the way for innovation and sustainable development across the construction industry.

Briefly put, the Danish Architecture Centre focuses on the role of architecture as a generator of cultural and economic value for people, companies and society at large, with an emphasis on sustainable development with regard to economic, social, health and environmental concerns.

Restaurant

The restaurant at BLOX is placed facing the newly established square Bryghuspladsen at the end of Frederiksholms Kanal. The restaurant is open to the public and offers both indoor and outdoor seating, weather permitting. Sheltered by the buildings, the square gets the afternoon and evening sun and offers beautiful views along the canal and towards the city.

The restaurant is open to the public and also serves as a canteen for the people working in or visiting the building. External users will be able to reserve the restaurant for events.

In addition to the ground-floor restaurant, BLOX also features a café in connection with DAC’s exhibition space. The café, which includes a large terrace, is going to face the harbour and will be open to paying visitors to DAC.

Outdoor areas

New playgrounds and outdoor areas are added, including a new urban playground surrounded by a fence as well as more open and engaging activity areas. When necessary, the fence can be removed to convert the play space to an outdoor stage for cultural events.

Along the harbour, from the exhibition building to the existing bridge Langebro, the harbour promenade will offer access to more challenging activities for older children. The playgrounds are developed in a close collaboration between architects, private citizens, the nearby schools and preschools and Den Classenske Legatskole.

This is the setting for the city’s new urban spaces. Intimate and centrally located towards the city and Frederiksholms Kanal, with playgrounds, sun, shelter and outdoor restaurant seating; more open and exposed to the weather in the space along the harbour front, which features the floating ball cage and activities for older children; and the new low wooden pier towards the harbour with room for small boats to dock.

Bringing life to the area around the building is a key priority. Areas that were mainly used as car parks or were simply abandoned lots will be converted into more than 5,000 square metres of public squares, passages and playgrounds.

The playgrounds are developed in a close collaboration between architects, private citizens, the nearby schools and preschools and Den Classenske Legatskole.

Parking

Underneath the building there will be a fully automated car park with room for 350 cars.

Access to the facility is via a ramp running along the low yellow building (Fæstningens Materialgård) facing Vester Voldgade.

Thanks to the fully automated solution, drivers do not need to go underground. Instead, they simply leave their car in an automated lift that parks and retrieves the vehicle.

Similar automated underground car parks are in use in several cities outside Denmark. They are popular because they are space-efficient, eliminate street-level parking and feel safer to use. In Denmark too, there are now several fully automated facilities. For example, Realdania Byg is building a similar facility at Urban Mediaspace Aarhus. Below, you can see how a fully automated parking facility works.

Eliminating street-level parking frees up space for cyclists and pedestrians and, in particular, for new urban spaces.

The film below shows how far we had come in constructing the fully automated parking facility by summer 2015. The yellow steel constructions are the structures around the lifts that lower the cars down. The videos further down on this page show you how this process works.


Aflevering af bil i automatisk p-anlæg.

Afhentning af bil i automatisk p-anlæg.

Her er en video fra det det lignende fuldautomatiske parkeringsanlæg i Dokk1 i Aarhus, hvor du kan se, hvordan BLOXs fuldautomatiske parkeringsanlæg kommer til at fungere. 

The Bridge

Construction began in early 2017 and is scheduled for completion by late summer 2018.The future bicycle and pedestrian bridge is going to be a convincing and elegant structure. The main design concept is a simple, curved line that gives the bridge the appearance of a gracefully tensioned bow forming a natural link between two parts of the city.

The bridge was designed by an international team headed by British BuroHappold Engineering in cooperation with architects WilkinsonEyre and Urban Agency. The bridge forms a beautiful link from the urban Vester Voldgade to a new urban space by Langebrogade toward Langebro, close to the old embankment.

Realdania is creating this bridge as a gift to the city to develop recreational qualities and accessibility in the central part of Copenhagen Harbour. The bridge project is carried out in a collaboration between Realdania Byg & Byg (a Realdania subsidiary) and the City of Copenhagen. A new bicycle link by Langebro has been included in the district plan for the City of Copenhagen since 2001.

Peter Cederfeld, CEO of Realdania By & Byg, says:

‘In the jury we found that the key quality of the winning proposal is the “fluid cross-section” that lends the bridge its expressive sense of tension. The bridge defines a clear trajectory across the harbour and is undisputedly the best proposal in the competition for a bridge with a simple traffic flow between the two parts of the city it is designed to connect. It is a bridge that we feel Copenhageners have reason to be proud of.’

In the ongoing process, the project details will be further refined and modified before the final stages of planning and construction. 

The bridge improves accessibility and bicycle commuting

The bridge will be part of Det Grønne Cykelrutenet (the Green Bicycle Route Network) and ‘Havneruten’ (the Harbour Route). The bridge accelerates this development in the area by improving conditions for pedestrians and cyclists and by bringing the city and the harbour closer together.

The bridge occupies the same site as the original Langebro from the late 1600s until the early 1900s. That allows for a recreational, green and historical connection extending from Ørstedsparken via Vester Voldgade to the Christianshavn embankments  and on to Holmen.

The bridge touches land just south of BLOX and is going to help bring life and people to the area, contributing actively to urban life in the area around this major Realdania project. Both BLOX and the bridge project lie in a natural extension of Realdania’s goal of improving quality of life through the built environment.

Preliminary timeline

• June 2015: winning project from the project competition is announced.

• Second half of 2015: application processing, public hearing and district plan.

• First half of 2016: the bridge is expected to get final approval from Copenhagen’s city council.

• First half of 2017: construction begins.

• Late summer 2018: the project is scheduled to be completed and handed over.

Fitness

BLOX is also going to house a fitness centre distributed across both the ground floor and the first floor. The fitness centre is located in the building’s north-eastern corner, overlooking the harbour, and later outdoor cross-fit activities can be established directly on the waterfront.

Location and connections

Animation made by OMA. November 2011. 

BLOX occupies the so-called Brewery Site, which sits in a busy central location: close to the bridge Langebro, 800 metres from City Hall Square, bordered by Vester Voldgade, Frederiksholms Kanal and, on the third side, the harbour and the arterial road Ring 2. That is the setting of this exciting new place in the city. A place that is inspiring to visit. And a place that invites passers-by to pause, spend some time and take in the scene: experiencing architecture, visiting the playground, enjoying food and drink or simply taking in the view of the harbour. 

BLOX brings new life to this part of the city and ties together the harbour and central Copenhagen. It features a new bridge across the harbour for pedestrians and cyclists and creates connections in places where it is difficult to stroll today. BLOX is centrally located in relation to the new bridges and connections that the City of Copenhagen and Realdania are planning. With its location, the project suggests a new possible culture route, where the new building, which houses the Danish Architecture Centre, connects with Slotsholmen, the site of the Danish Parliament, as well as a range of cultural institutions including the National Museum of Denmark, the Royal Danish Arsenal Museum, The Royal Library and Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.

Bicycle and pedestrian bridge

In connection with the BLOX project, a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge will be built spanning the harbour north of the existing bridge Langebro. 

The bridge extends from the urban setting of Vester Voldgade and touches down in a new urban space by Langebrogade towards Langebro, close to the old embankment area. The new bridge improves conditions for pedestrians and cyclists by offering a calmer alternative to the busy Langebro. The bridge also links BLOX and central Copenhagen to Havneparken, Kalvebod Bølge and Christianshavns Vold. It is scheduled for completion in 2018.

A gift to the city
The bridge is a gift from Realdania with the goal of developing the recreational qualities and accessibility in the central part of Copenhagen Harbour. The bridge project is a collaboration effort between Realdania By & Byg (a subsidiary of Realdania) and the City of Copenhagen. A new bicycle link near Langebro has been included in the municipal plan for Copenhagen since 2001.

Architecture
The winning project is a convincing and elegant bridge. The main feature is a simple, curved line that gives the impression of a graceful, bent bow that serves as a natural link between two parts of the city. The two swing spans are parallel with Langebro and allow passage for large ships. The free height is 5.40 metres, tall enough for the Harbour Buses. With a three-metre lane for pedestrians and four metres for cyclists, the bridge offers ample space to its users. 

The bridge was designed by an international team led by the British firm BuroHappold Engineering in cooperation with the architectural firms WilkinsonEyre and Urban Agency.

Click here to see other projects from the winning team:

BuroHappold

WilkinsonEyre

UrbanAgency

Traffic
The bridge provides improved conditions for pedestrians and cyclists and thus takes pressure off Langebro, which is used by 35,000 cyclists on an average weekday. User surveys show that the new bridge will offer an attractive alternative for many of the cyclists and pedestrians who are currently using Langebro. In particular, it will be a popular option for cyclists commuting between, on the one hand, central Copenhagen and Nørrebro and, on the other, Islands Brygge, the university, Ørestad and western Amager.

The City of Copenhagen aims to be the world’s best city for cyclists. In 2015, 50% of all commuters bike to work and education. Today, cycling is the fastest and most efficient daily form of transportation for many Copenhageners. Based on estimates and studies of bicycle traffic, the new bridge will be used by as many as 9,000 cyclists and 2,000 pedestrians on a daily basis. The bridge is an important part of the efforts to facilitate travel within the city and to expand and improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. 

 

Historical background of the site


The Brewery Site with the former Langebro. 1931.

The Brewery Site emerged in the 1660s as a result of landfills in the harbour and on the islet of Frederiksholm. 
The first brewery was established here already in 1767. 
From 1772 until 1923, the site housed the King’s Brewery. Thus, beer for royal and public consumption was brewed here for more than 150 years. 
The King’s Brewery burned down in 1960, and for the next 50 years, the area was used for a temporary playground and a car park. 
In 1994, Ørestad Development Corporation (Ørestadsselskabet) acquired the site from the Danish state. 
Realdania By & Byg bought the site in 2005 with a view to creating a new building and an urban space of exceptional architectural quality that would enhance the area and help tie the city and the harbour together.

The new bridge for cyclists and pedestrians will be located where the original Langebro bridge was built in the late 17th century. The original Langebro connected Rysensteen and Kalvebod bastions – from Vester Voldgade to Langebrogade. Thus, the new bridge contains a historical reference. 

 

 

Project history

The groundbreaking May 2013.

Inauguration (2018) 

The building is scheduled to be ready for inauguration in spring 2018..

Occupancy (2017) 

The building is scheduled to be completed and operational. 

Construction (2013-2017) 

The project is under construction. 

Preliminary project and main project (2010-2013) 

The project proposal is drawn up. It contains a more detailed design brief for the building as well as drawings and models of the basic principles for the project. 
The project proposal is turned into a preliminary project, which forms the basis for an application for a building permit. 
The main project is prepared, describing the construction stages in detail. In a bidding round, prices are obtained, and arrangements are made with the contractors. 

Programming (2007-2009) 

Drawing up the construction brief. The construction brief is a more detailed description of the client’s requirements and requests for the finished structure. 
Establishing a programme for preliminary site assessment with regard to environmental, geo-technical and archaeological issues. 
Preparing the conceptual design. The conceptual design includes the initial drawings and models of the construction. It describes the main lines of the structure including the overall shape of the building, the distribution of square metres for the various functions and the types of materials to be used. 

The idea phase (2006) 

The overall vision for the project is articulated. 
Urban space and urban history analysis is carried out. 
The architect is selected. The idea brief is drawn up.

 

Timeline for bridge: 

June 2015: announcement of the winning project from the project competition.

First half of 2016: application processing, public hearing and local development plan.

Second half of 2016: planning and selection of main contractor.

Early 2017: construction begins.

2018: project scheduled to be completed and handed over.

 

BLOX partners


 

The Danish Architecture Centre (DAC) will be an important part of the finished project – and a close project partner throughout the planning and construction phase.

dac.dk/en



 

OMA, the architects behind BLOX, is an internationally acclaimed Dutch architectural firm.

 

oma.eu



 

Züblin is the main contractor.

 


züblin.com


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lödige delivers the fully automated car park system.

 


lödige.com


 

Metallbau Früh delivers the facades.

 

metallbau-fruh.com




BLOX is funded by Realdania. Realdania By & Byg is the client and the owner of the site and building. Realdania By & Byg is a fully owned subsidiary of Realdania. 

The City of Copenhagen and Realdania work together to develop the entire area around the site.

The City of Copenhagen

Realdania

Realdania By & Byg

Realdania By & Byg

Realdania By & Byg compiles and publicises a portfolio of unique properties in Denmark. That also applies to BLOX, which aims to make a difference and generate development and change in the area. Throughout, the project is based on close cooperation with the surroundings, curious dialogue and the development of the strong networks that make BLOX an extraordinary setting for life in the city. 

BLOX is scheduled to be ready for use in 2017.

Bridge partners

The bridge project is the collaborative effort of Realdania By & Byg and the City of Copenhagen.

The bridge is a gift from Realdania to Copenhagen. Realdania By & Byg oversees the planning and construction of the bridge. Upon completion, the ownership and responsibility for ongoing operations and maintenance pass to the City of Copenhagen.

Realdania By & Byg A/S is a subsidiary of Realdania. The purpose of the company is to build, acquire and operate properties primarily within the scope of Realsdanias foundation strategy. Realdania By & Byg oversees the construction of the bridge and of BLOX.

City of Copenhagen

Realdania

Realdania By & Byg

The bridge was designed by an international team led by the British firm BuroHappold Engineering in cooperation with the architectural firms WilkinsonEyre and Urban Agency.

BuroHappold

WilkinsonEyre

UrbanAgency

The turnkey contractor for the construction of the bridge is a joint venture between Mobilis Danmark and Hollandia Infra I/S.

Mobilis Danmark

Hollandia Infra I/S

Contact/Find us


Photo: Lars Gundersen/Realdania By & Byg

Contact us if you have any questions

During the construction period (until 2017), BLOX has its offices in Fæstningens Materialgård (the Fortification Materials Yard), which faces the construction site. Realdania purchased the site, and Realdania By & Byg is the client for BLOX.

BLOX

Fæstningens Materialgård
Frederiksholms Kanal 30, 1. sal
1220 Copenhagen K
info@blox.dk

Press contact 

Heidi Meier Bach, communication manager 
Tel.: +45 2680 3503
hba@realdania.dk

Realdania 

Jarmers Plads 2 
1551 Copenhagen V 
Tel. +45 7011 6666 
realdania@realdania.dk 

Realdania By & Byg 

Jarmers Plads 2
1551 Copenhagen V 
Tlf. +45 7011 0606 
info@realdaniabyogbyg.dk

Office address for BLOX

View large map

Location of BLOX