Residential complex Mountain Dwellings in Copenhagen, Denmark from the architectural bureau BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
The residential complex Mountain Dwellings located in the new district of Copenhagen, Ørestad, Denmark was designed by the architectural bureau BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group. The house for 80 apartments is located on a narrow long strip of land (600×5000 m), stretched from northeast to southwest along the highway and raised above the railway line. The building site is located in close proximity to the low-rise residential area. Between the cottages and the railway there is also a gymnasium designed by the architectural bureau 3XN, and two buildings of VM House.
In this project, the architects provided the residents with all the delights of a country lifestyle, literally and figuratively placing it above the modern urban civilization that cars symbolize. Instead of building two separate blocks: housing and parking for two different customers, the architects proposed to combine them by placing one above the other.
It turned out, as it were, two parallel worlds: automobile and human. The first one accommodates 480 cars (parking serves several houses in the district at once), the second one – 80 apartments with an area of no more than 90 square meters. Housing descends in terraces along the diagonals of the cropped parking cube, from the top corner closest to the railroad line to the farthest bottom. Thus, the house was turned away from the highway and the vast majority of apartments were oriented to the southeast: the windows offer views of neighboring cottages, and the insolation standards are observed as much as possible.
By the way, the corridors themselves are also glazed, so, being in them, you can appreciate the multi-light space of the parking area, which in some places reaches a height of 16 meters. Each floor has its own color of the corridor: green, yellow, orange, red, pink. The floor slabs are also painted in the same colors.
The apartments in the house are mostly three-room. However, none of them have load-bearing internal walls, so the layouts are easily “redrawn” to suit the needs of the residents. As for the original layout, the architects propose an option in which the kitchen, dining room and living room are combined in one space, from where you can get into the other two rooms. Each apartment also has two bathrooms and a laundry room. An important feature is that almost all apartments are provided with courtyards of about 65 square meters. The sliding door system allows, in good weather, to connect the interior space of all three rooms with an external terrace. It is thanks to these courtyards that the Mountain dwellings residential complex makes one want to compare it with townhouses. However, the local apartments compare favorably with the traditional blocked housing in that the location at different levels reliably protects them from prying eyes: from the side, the courtyard is hidden behind the ledge of one of the rooms, and from above the view is protected by a solid parapet line 1.1 meters high and wide. There are also smaller, studio-type apartments in the residential complex.
The wooden paneling of the courtyard facades only enhances the image of a country house or, rather, a multitude of houses, as if growing out of each other. The natural theme is continued by the lining of the parking lot with perforated metal sheets, starting at the level of the second floor. Perforation provides ventilation and lighting. At the same time, its openings form the silhouettes of the Himalayan peaks with Everest, which are effectively illuminated at night. Like many other BIG works, the Mountain Dwellings project closely intertwined modernist architecture of simple forms, an ecological trend and industrial design techniques, in which the Scandinavian countries have recently shown amazing ingenuity.
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Architect: BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group Website: big.dk Location: Ørestad, Copenhagen, Denmark