Henning Larsen imagines a sylvan house of worship in Copenhagen with Ørestad Church
by STIRworldOct 20, 2022
•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by Zohra KhanPublished on : Jan 16, 2020
Imagine 18 hectares of untouched forest land as a transformed neighbourhood that accommodates the demands of a growing city and increasing local biodiversity.
Henning Larsen recently revealed the visuals of Fælledby, a new sustainable district envisioned as an all-timber neighbourhood, just beyond the Copenhagen City Center. The proposal, attuned to the Danish agrarian ethos of architecture co-existing with nature, was acknowledged as a winning entry in a national design competition hosted by local real estate firm, By & Havn.
Designed to accommodate 7,000 residents, the Fælledby community which includes the protected forest area of Amager Common, will be entirely constructed with timber, with individual buildings featuring birdhouses and animal habitats integrated within the building facades.
The masterplan features three distinct village-like cores of habitation that combine Danish urban and rural typologies of architecture. The ‘cores’ are designed to grow outward; their ‘diffuse approach’ aims to organically integrate nature within the site and maximise its access to the residents.
The built fabric comprises mostly low-rise, designed to capture strategic views of the surroundings. Rows of houses sit around a courtyard and are replicated to create close-knit neighbourhoods within each core. Sustainability has also been thought through within the larger scheme where the homogenous use of timber construction as against to using concrete and steel aims to reduce the carbon impact of the development.
Connectivity within Fælledby is via narrow roads that reduce vehicular traffic and increase pedestrian access to nature. Interestingly, from any residential point, green spaces can be reached through a two-minute walk.
“With the rural village as an archetype, we are creating a city where biodiversity and active recreation define a sustainable pact between people and nature,” says Signe Kongebro, partner at Henning Larsen.
“(Fælledby) is an exciting and innovative proposal, unlike anything we’ve seen before in other parts of Copenhagen. The message from our dialogue with local citizens was entirely clear – we knew we had a responsibility to take great care of the community’s plant and animal residents, while at the same time in building a sustainable neighbourhood within this setting,” says Anne Skovbro, Managing Director of By & Havn.
Keeping true to its green promise, Henning Larsen has collaborated with Denmark-based biologists and environmental engineers from MOE to develop a scheme that preserves 40 percent of the site as ‘undeveloped nature’. Various features within the masterplan bring spaces for local birds, insects and bats to thrive. These include planted facades and built-in birdhouses, new ponds for frogs and salamanders, and community gardens to attract butterflies. Green corridors also traverse the cores that invite animals to move freely within and around the site.
The proposal imagines a sustainable future of living that brings the goodness of a Danish city and a countryside. The timeline for Fælledby has not been revealed yet, but it is expected to be developed in phases.
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