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Project in Detail

Mountain Dwellings

Copenhagen S, Denmark
BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group, Copenhagen N, Denmark
World Architecture Festival 2008 - Category Winner

BIG - Mountain Dwellings 
Jens Lindhe 

How do you combine the splendors of the suburban backyard with the social intensity of urban density?

The Mountain Dwellings are located in the Orestad, a new urban development in Copenhagen, Denmark. When commissioned to design a traditional housing block and a separate parking house, we instead decided to combine the two programs. The program consist of 2/3 parking and 1/3 living.

What if the parking area became the base upon which to place terraced housing - like a concrete hillside covered by a thin layer of housing, cascading from the 11th floor to the street edge? Rather than doing two separate buildings next to each other - a parking and a housing block - we decided to merge the two functions into a symbiotic relationship. The parking area needs to be connected to the street, and the homes require sunlight, fresh air and views, thus all apartments have roof gardens facing the sun, amazing views and parking on the 10th floor. The Mountain Dwellings appear as a suburban neighborhood of garden homes, floating over a 10-storey building - suburban living with urban density.

The roof gardens consist of a terrace and a garden with plants changing character according to the changing seasons. The building has a huge watering system which maintains the roof gardens. The only thing that separates the apartment and the garden is a glass façade with sliding doors to provide light and fresh air.

The residents of the 80 apartments will be the first in Orestaden to have the possibility of parking directly outside their homes. The gigantic parking area contains 480 parking spots and a sloping elevator that moves along the mountain’s inner walls. In some places the ceiling height is up to 16 meters which gives the impression of a cathedral-like space.

The north and west facades are covered by perforated aluminum plates, which let in air and light to the parking area. The holes in the facade form a huge reproduction of Mount Everest. At day the holes in the aluminum plates will appear black on the bright aluminum, and the gigantic picture will resemble that of a rough rasterized photo. At night time the facade will be lit from the inside and appear as a photo negative in different colors as each floor in the parking area has different colors.

The Mountain Dwellings is located in Orestad city and offer the best of two worlds: closeness to the hectic city life in the centre of Copenhagen, and the tranquility characteristic of suburban life.

Lead Architect »

BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group
Copenhagen N

Professional Credits »

Civil Engineer
Freddy Madsen Rådgivende Ingeniører ApS

Client / Developer
Dansk Olie Kompagni A/S

Client / Developer
Høpfner A/S

Collaborating Architect, sketch phase
JDS Architects

Construction Manager
Henrick Poulsen

Bjarke Ingels

Project Architect
Jakob Lange

Project Leader
Finn Nørkjær

Project Manager
Jan Borgstrøm

Structural Engineer
Moe & Brødsgaard