Memo From Copenhagen: New Builds

LOCATION Copenhagen
FIRM Multiple

Copenhagen already has a world-class transportation system that includes two Metro lines complete with fully automated, driverless trains running between 22 inner city stations. But the new $2 billion Cityringen, or the City Circle Metro Line, will eventually form a complete the nearly 10-mile, 24-minute loop around the city. Such an ambitious project involves a number of integrated teams from design and architecture conglomerates including , , , and . The high cost and time will pay off when the expanded service lines utterly transform Copenhagen’s outer boroughs, bringing 85 percent of city residents within a third of a mile of a light rail or train station. When completed in 2018, it is estimated that the City Circle Line will move up to 275,000 passengers a day, 25% of whom do not currently use public transit. Construction teams broke ground in 2011, and each of the 17 new stations will feature a unique design and color scheme to make it more recognizable.

Existing stations are also being overhauled. Award-winning firm , responsible for a number of new and renovated Metro stations and other brand-new builds around town, partnered with , engineering consultancy , and lighting design experts to redesign Nørreport Station, on track to be fully completed at the end of this year. Nørreport, which first opened in 1918, connects all Metro, S-tog and regional trains. It’s also the country’s busiest station, even surpassing the crowds at Copenhagen Central Station. The newly overhauled 115,000-square foot station includes a hefty concrete roof overhangs that will be cast on-site, as well as subtle features such as a ground-level bicycle storage area, sunken 15 inches and built to accommodate 2,500 bikes. The innovative sloping design will solve a longtime problem at this hectic hub: keeping bikes corralled in a designated space rather than tipping all over pedestrian walkways. In a city with more than 40 pervent of commuters on two wheels and 20,000 passing through Nørreport each day, inventive bicycle storage isn’t just simply forward-thinking urban design: it’s a basic necessity.

All the building isn’t just downtown. Just a decade ago, Ørestad, the rising development stretch along the banks of the Øresund sound between Copenhagen and Malmö, Sweden, seemed like a flat, scrubby wild west, waiting to be discovered. Now, the precisely planned outpost is a major construction center, home to massive complexes like the nearly one million-square-foot The Summits, designed by for retail shopping and real estate conglomerate , and the , a 350,000-square-foot multipurpose indoor stadium designed by , , , , and . It’s scheduled for completion in 2016.

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