After many boom years, the Danish real estate economy has recently become weak and unclear, with developments concentrated more on office-space. The RODOVRE SKY VILLAGE proposes a new solution for such situations, based on flexibility, where offices can be easily transformed into housing – and vice versa. Developing a tower that is composed of 7.8 m x 7.8 m ‘pixels’ or units, a sustainable mixed-use building arises as a new model for flexible development.
- Location: Denmark
- City: Copenhagen
- Year: 2008
- Surface area: 36000 m²
- Client: Brainstones ApS, Denmark
- Architects: MVRDV and Danish co-architects ADEPT
- Status: Competition
- Programs: Hotel, Offices, Residential
- Themes: Architecture, Mixed-use, Sustainability.
Need of RODOVRE SKY VILLAGE – New tower in Rødovre
The demand for a new tower in Rødovre, the near edge of Copenhagen, raises the concern as to what kind of tower should be added to the skyline of the capital. Should it be a sphere, a spire, a cube, and is it the only form that counts? Can one visualize a tower that is more than merely form-driven? What content can be given to the new skyscraper? Can it criticize and correct the moderately commercial and hollow iconic architectural developments of the last years?
After some booming years, the recent Danish real estate economy is almost unstable and unclear. Right now, the housing business is slowing down, and developments focus more on office-space. That demands, particularly in places like Rødovre, situated between Copenhagen and the eastern country, for a new concept for the upcoming buildings. One that shows elasticity. Where offices can easily be changed into housing – and vice versa and smaller units can be converted into bigger ones – and vice versa. How to accomplish this flexibility?
This mixed-use concept also asks for a mixed environment. It leads both to a formal plaza with shopping for the occupants and lunch-hour-restaurants for the office workers on the one hand and on the other to a play area with the longest form on earth to mix children and parents with people at work or the aged.
The bench encloses a protected play area, an outdoor fitness area for elderly citizens, and picnic zones. The green zone contradicts in a comfortable way with its urban surroundings and revives the pedestrian environment.
By creating a tower that is a grid structure with minimum pixel size, any configuration can be imagined and filled in. The grid-size of 7.8 x 7.8 m combines a good parking grid, a proper housing unit, and office type (a unit of 7.8 x 7.8 x 4 m, approx. 60 sq.m. or 240 cu.m), that can easily accommodate a large variety of tenants. For Example, young people that want to live adjacent to the city and beginners in the office market. Small offices and home offices… a vertical SOHO! The units, or pixels, can also be combined together to form larger spaces to provide larger apartments, hotel rooms, or offices. As a result, a sustainable structure appears, as well as a mixed-use building!
- Around the core a two-bay (or -pixel) band has been positioned, 15.6 meters wide. It allows for offices with cubicles and meeting rooms, and for houses, or public functions, for example, a library or a conference space.
- The result is a cube of 46.8 x 46.8 x 48 meters. By altering the infill, less deep offices and houses can be constructed. As a result, it gets more facades, and thus more light and views. When doing that on every floor in a different way, a specific composition of terraces and balconies can be built. This process has been organized by ‘pulling away’ pixels out of the cube and repositioning them on top.
- By pulling away many pixels on the ground and lower floors, a more open plaza is created while keeping some programs on the ground floor for lobbies and shops.
- While stacking the units more towards the northern side on top of the cube a taller building emerges with sunnier terraces with views to Copenhagen city center, Skåne, and the rest of the region.
- By opening the cube in the middle, a series of covered terraces are created to allow for communal outdoor areas for offices or public functions.
- With the repositioning act, a variety of interiors and exteriors has been created.
- This leads to a vertical, pixelated ‘rock’ of unit types; a character-full element that goes beyond the form-driven iconic exercises of the last years.
It relates to the spires of the old city center, and it relates to nature or a cloud. But more to the direct surroundings: it merges the character of the surrounding low-rise housing buildings with the strong representation of the blocks next to the main street. The shape of the volume minimizes the impact of shadows on the surrounding houses and without blocking the views on the ground level. A vertical village thus comes alive. In short, A sky village.
Construction and Planning of RODOVRE SKY VILLAGE
There is a grid around a central core with lifts, stairs, and shafts.
The central core is divided into three individual cores that individually serve the apartments, the offices, and the hotel and restaurant. A corridor encloses these cores so any access-composition in the plan is conceivable.
Meanwhile, the columns are clad with cast-aluminum panels. There is a proposal for glass doors in between the columns and infills. It assists both domestic and office purposes: individualized usages, natural ventilation, and highest visibility from the sky towards the grounds. The presentation of each element in two ways, turning either vertically or horizontally. Which provides for maximum flexibility in the floor plan.
The tower continues underground with some small shops, plant rooms, and a parking garage. By using identical pixel-unit sizes, the plaza obtains the same qualities and character as the rest of the tower. As if the tower is ‘arising’ from the ground.