Location: Copenhagen (Denmark)
Year: 2013


  • Foreningen Hovedstadens Forskonnelse-Arets Arkitekturpris (2013)

Building description

Situated at the tip of an artificial island in the north of Copenhagen,the KMC Nordhavn Centre analyses and handles excavated soil from construction sites around Copenhagen that are used to create new groundfor a new urban area («Nordhavn»). The building is characterised by its robustness and flexibility and reflects a holistic approach emphasisingsocial, economic and environmental sustainability.

Nordhavn landscape is something very special. Around the Centre are piles of soil, left-over building materials, rusty metal parts, while to the North-west, the landscape is contrastingly lush with little green hills, shrubbery and little ponds, inhabited by birds, swans and seagulls. With its rusty red facades and its roof planted with tall grasses, the KMC Centerblends perfectly into its surroundings. The robust building design and materials can withstand the dust and dirt of this harsh environment, and ensure a long life and low level of maintenance.

The combination of passive and active solutions has resulted in a very energy-efficient building. Electricity is locally produced by geothermalenergy and PV panels integrated in the ground and on the sloped surfaces of the green roof. The building requires little energy to be heatedthanks to a highly insulated and airtight envelope.

Daylight was a key design parameter. All work-places are located on the first floor and large and highly placed windows and skylights make lightinguseless during the day. Comprising aesthetics and sustainability, this zero-energy building is DGNB-certified to bronze. In the environmental part of the screening, the project scored 78,5%, very close to Gold certification.The life cycle analysis of the construction materials performed as part of the design process contributes largely to this score.

Finally, the building was constructed in a way that it can be transformed to serve other functions with only minor adjustments.

Adam Mørk



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