1:1 Landskab: The square is situated in the attractive ’Nansensgade-quarter’ a housing area in the centre of Copenhagen. The square is bounded by the facades of the inner city cultural centre in Copenhagen, 4-5 storey housing and a substation. Formerly, the square was generally a very murky passageway between Nansensgade and the Lakes, an area characterized by graffiti, dark trees and worn down cobblestones.
A lot of the meeting places in the city are reserved certain types of people. Places where people go to meet people like themselves. The aim was to make a democratic meeting place, a place where people of all ages and social classes could come and meet people they wouldn’t meet elsewhere. To attract all kind of people the aim was to implement different activities as basket ball, skating, petanque, climbing etc. but also to give space for unforeseeable/planned activities. Not least the aim was to make a square that was also attractive when it was empty and a square that stands for it self. A lot of ‘activity’ spaces looks very abandoned when not used, here the aim was to create something that was beautiful even a deserted winters day.
The new square is divided in several areas: A classical ‘Copenhagen square’ with sett stone paving, a recessed ball court in black asphalt, a playground with black rubber surface and a white rocky landscape – white concrete which forms a three-dimensional urban cliff landscape, inspired by the Japanese stone gardens thus contrasting the dark playing field. The ball court and playground is recessed to the level of Søgade street and is terminated by a wide stairway up toward Nansensgade street.
On the classical Copenhagen square one can sit and enjoy food from the cultural center’s café, while looking down over the ball court and the rocky landscape. The rocks can be used for climbing, biking and skating as well as sitting or lying.
Charlotte Ammundsens plads has been well accepted from day one and the new square is now a meeting point for Copenhageners of all age groups and from all walks of life. Here an unspoiled street culture with graffiti and climbing walls thrives alongside the sett paving and the cherry trees of the classical landscape architecture.
The interaction between raw ‘street’-culture and classical landscape architecture has attracted a lot of attention and in December 2008, 3 month after the opening, the square received the Initiative Award by The Association for Beautification of the Capital. The reason for the award being among other things that ‘changes in the existing can be a problem in Copenhagen, but in this case it is different. The approach used for creating this square between Nansensgade and Nørre Søgade is so evidently right, so musical, that the result in its obvious functionality is both unusual and very successful.’ and ‘it is an unusual perfect work of art an city-beautiful and humane space that this hard tried city has been given’.
Authors: 1:1 Landskab, Mogens Morgen arkitekter
Project: Charlotte Ammundsens plads
City/Country: Copenhagen, Denmark
Developer: Municipality of Copenhagen, Københavns Ejendomme
Area: 1700 m2
Costs: 725.000 euro