Perimeter Hub

Kopenhagen, DK


Martin Hättasch (in collaboration with Grant Alford)

Differentiated Perimeter - Typological Diversity

The project occupies a triangular city block between Sankt Kjelds Pladsen and Venødade in Kopenhagen. A series of public buildings will be concentrated here, not in competition to, but in conjunction with the geometric center of Sankt Kjelds Pladsen, forming a civic center for a somewhat underserviced urban neighborhood. The predominant architectural feature of the Sankt Kjelds Kvarter - the perimeter block circumscribing a collective courtyard – is embraced at the same time as it is transformed: Beyond this type’s manifestation as a wall building, the perimeter of the new public block is re-interpreted first and foremost as a ‘perimeter zone’. This zone frames an interior open space (which now becomes entirely public), and remains faithful to the street edge, while at the same time enabling a looser and more diverse approach to the architecture of the perimeter. The strong triangular form of the new perimeter zone has the power to hold architectural difference without compromising its conceptual rigor. A ‘Perimeter Hub’ takes full advantage of this ability in order to generate a new civic hub that combines the contextual device of the perimeter with the demands for a programmatically and architecturally diverse civic center. A range of typologically different buildings occupy the edge of the block, each independent in function, architecture, and potentially operating entity, yet all of them contributing to a larger conceptual whole.