Status: 1st Prize competition entry
Program: Intervention for the renovation of 1000 courtyard houses in Copenhagen
Scope: Urban design, strategy/vision plan and specific architectural renovation measures
The task was to develop suggestions for the renovation of the houses and to provide ideas for the urban architectural vision for improving Albertslund Syd.
Our proposal to transform the building plan adopted a change to preserve approach. It mainly involved changes to the landscape design of urban spaces in order to loosen function-specific restrictions and make spaces available for new activities. In addition, selected structural facilities were implemented to expand the city’s functional repertoire.
Farmhouses in Albertslund are sturdy and have a strong popular potential. This meant for us that they could assume a comprehensive visual transformation, and that in this transformation we could allow for a high degree of user control and individual influence on the dwelling interior and exterior.
Our proposal would therefore continue the industrial building practice, but with a contemporary interpretation that encourages the greater individual and collective freedom of residents to choose the configuration, and also includes the management of resources, aiming at a closed material circuit. It was thereby designed as a conservative transformation strategy with a potentially radical expression: maintaining existing housing typologies, urban layout and infrastructure, but modifying visible surfaces to adapt the urban and building structure to today’s needs.
We also proposed a governance model, a framework defined partly by the need for responsible resource management, as well as by the understanding and respect for the original identity of the city, still linked to the pioneer generation and their children – all linked to the site. Cities are in flux, but they are simultaneously deposits of individual and collective memory, aspects which should be highlighted and preserved. Albertslund Syd was not built in a day – and that impression should not be swept away by the result of a renovation.
We intend the transformation of farmhouses in Albertslund to set new standards for sustainable renovation. For the most part, renovation and sustainability have been separate programs in most construction projects. The interconnection of both concepts offers unprecedented opportunities: first, to create historical continuity and a new architectural expression, and second, to develop both community and individuality in the design of the residents´ homes.