dyrehave and bellevue

May 30, 2008

so the days are winding down…and i finally took the day trip i’ve been wanting to do all spring. i took my bike on the train and spent the day in/near klampenborg, visiting dyrehave and bellevue. jægersborg dyrehave (or ‘deer garden’) was once a private reserve for king frederick iii and is now managed as a forest park. about 2000 deer (of three different varieties! some albino…) live and roam free there (within the park boundaries) – it was really fun to be biking along and see them running through the woods. they’re not tame enough that you can walk right up to them, but are calm enough for a few action zoom photos. : ) after biking through dyrehave, i went to the beach at bellevue, where danish architect arne jacobsen designed a number of buildings in the 1930s, including some lovely and simple beach structures…which served as a nice background for some sunning and a little beach nap.

all of the park entrances have these official red gates

i’ve been told that peter liep’s house is a nice place to stop for a cup of hot chocolate in the park…but maybe not on such a gorgeous and sunny day. still, the decor is fitting…

also within the park is bakken, the world’s ‘oldest existing’ theme park…

the landscape in dyrehave is really great – lots of giant old trees…and some giant old tree ruin

my first close-up deer encounter

the lovely landscape…

…and the deerscape!

this was a great sight…two deer dashed out into the meadow in front of these riders

the ‘hermitage,’ a royal hunting lodge added by one of frederick’s successors

riders and the hermitage castle/detail of the lodge roof

on the other side of the hermitage, there were tons of schoolkids picnicking on the hill, looking out toward the øresund

landscape and hermitage/deer in the meadow, heading for the herd

deer crossing!

next stop was the harbour near klampenborg station…

explorer knud rasmussen looks out over the sound/looking down the beach toward bellevue

two residential typologies at bellevue

view of one of jacobsen’s beach structures

jacobsen structure details

changing/showering pavilions

beach-facing elevation detail – nice and simple! and white – very danish…

my napping spot…a perfect end to a lovely trip!


i was lucky enough to have two friends visiting at the same time last week – i’ve traveled in china, japan, and taiwan with both liz and makie, so it was really fun to spend some time with them here in copenhagen. i think it’s been more than two years since we’ve all been in the same place at the same time! since we’re all in design fields, i got to take them on my now-practiced architour of copenhagen… now with plenty of breaks for fika:

me, liz, and makie take a fika break near the central station

me and liz at lagkagehuset in christianshaven (this is my favorite bakery…they make amazing rhubarb muffins!)

but we did more than just eat pastry! me and liz use our map recognition skills in christiania

makie and i taking photos at the royal danish academy for fine arts school of architecture

liz and makie at the christianshavn canal

me and liz at the danish architecture center

makie and her friend clover on playground equipment near the tietgen dormitory

those chairs spin like crazy!

makie, clover, and liz on the see-saw

testing out the main design features of prags boulevard…lampposts and the prags chairs

makie and i are ready to devour a long-anticipated brunch at kvarterhuset in holmbladsgade

clover hard at work promoting the architour

me, makie, and clover at the kastrup public bath/liz and i at the gemini residence

clover gets a swimming lesson at kastrup public bath/makie and clover

a lovely end to a day of archi-touring…

…and a lovely place for a nap!

liz and andrea and i visited copenhagen’s botanical gardens (botanisk have) the other day, which were really impressive and beautiful! here’s the blurb from the garden website:

Botanical Garden & Museum is situated in the heart of Copenhagen. The garden is a living museum and room for the largest collection of living plants in Denmark. The main purpose is to maintain a taxonomically, geographically and esthetical diverse collection of plants to be used in research and teaching and for public information. The museum holds one of the largest herbaria of plants and fungi from all over the world.

we really enjoyed it – this time of year there are lots of vibrant colors, and the park itself is like a flowery oasis right in the heart of the city. i think my mom (who is an avid gardener) would really have enjoyed this. my favorite parts were the palm house and the plant exhibitions that were arranged throughout the gardens (with titles like: “exotic spices”, “poisonous plants in nature”, “plants from the bible”, “tropical fruits”, “botany in the golden age”, and so on).

may day in dk

May 1, 2008

in denmark, may day is more of a political holiday than it is a day for making paper baskets and leaving them on your neighbors’ doorstep filled with flowers (which is what i remember doing on may 1 as a child). here’s the wiki-info i was able to dig up: “Left-wing policial day. Many people try to get a day off this day, and some even have it in their employment contract. A few people attend political meetings, though many – especially young people – meet at the sites of the political meetings to drink beer and other alcoholic beverages. Copenhagen’s Fælledparken is well known for its annual May 1st gathering. This is a full holiday for blue collar workers, but not for white collar workers.” we decided to check out the activities at fælledparken (which were crazy – lots of music, political speeches, LOTS of people, tons of beer). we international students celebrated in our own way with a picnic featuring delicious sandwiches engineered by cat and a fantastic ‘apple sand’ cake that laura got from lagkagehuset (my favorite, favorite copenhagen bakery!) in honor of cathrine’s birthday.

sandwich detail – there’s pesto in there!/klaus and cathrine enjoying the picnic goodness

april 16 is the birthday of queen margrethe ii of denmark, and is recognized as a special day. at noon on her birthday, the queen appears on the balcony of amalienborg palace (her residence in copenhagen) to wave to her subjects and admirers as they wish her a happy birthday. this year, queen margrethe turned 68, and appeared on the balcony with her husband (or “prince consort,” as is his official title), henrik, as well as her younger son, prince joachim, his two sons, nikolai and felix, and his fiancée, marie cavallier. the royal family smiled and waved from the balcony for a few moments as the royal guard music corps played birthday songs before retreating back into the palace – but not without two further appearance “encores,” which were met with much cheering and flag-waving. : )

the crowd gathering in the amalienborg palace courtyard as the royal guard marches past

queen margrethe appeared solo first before being joined on the balcony by her family

many people were waving the danish flag (or dannebrog) to celebrate the queen’s birthday

the royal guard music corps playing birthday and other celebratory tunes

no royal danish celebration would be complete without a changing of the guard – because this is a special day, they were wearing their dressy red uniforms

many of the danish kids were really into the celebration (love the tiny soldier outfit) – it seemed that there were many groups of schoolchildren in the crowd, and lots of grandchildren on grandparents’ shoulders : )

bike bucket full of tiny celebrants/i think my favorite was the group of kids wearing little crowns : )  happy birthday, queen margrethe!


my classmates on prags boulevard – we rode our bikes from site to site

as part of my “body culture in urban space” seminar, the professor arranged a great field trip to several new projects on amager last week. the course is sponsored by my school’s center for sports and architecture, and is led by prof. réne kural (whose handout i quote extensively below). i think the title is a little enigmatic, so to explain what the seminar is about, here’s an excerpt from the course flier:

“The use of urban space has been under transformation for the last 20 years. There are huge numbers of youngsters (and older – up to seniors) enjoying street-style skating, in liners, jogging, riding, bicycling, etc. This indicates that the city is not just a place for living, working and shopping, but a true pleasure-ground – a place where human movement, emotions and energy is vital for our experience of urban space. In which way will modern planning affect physical activity and how will contemporary body culture influence our life condition in the city? From this perspective, the planning of the future city is a true challenge to architects and politicians.”

it’s a really fun topic, and we have another field trip scheduled for later in april. the five projects we visited last week (below) are all places that i have visited (and blogged) before, but it was nice to see them again from a different perspective. because the course handout put together by prof. kural gave such a nice description of the projects, i just used the handout text below (in italics). my own comments, links, etc. are in ‘normal’ type.

these projects were all part of a neighborhood revitalization program (called ‘kvarterløft‘) in the holmbladsgade area. the various projects we visited were built as part of a strategy to provide high quality recreational and outdoor public spaces that would increase sport and cultural activity in the area while giving the overall quality of life in the area a boost. i’m using the holmbladsgade kvarterløft as a case study in my planning thesis, so this was a really enjoyable field trip for me.


#1: Prags Boulevard (Kristine Jensen Tegnestue, 2005)


Prags Boulevard starts at Amagerbrogade and ends with a view of the Øresund. It is a part of the neighbourhood facelift scheme around Holmbladsgade. The main intention was to have a green area with a high utility for people of all ages. This has resulted in seven activity areas that are placed along the main pathway of the park. Names like The Stage, The Pitch and The Ramp refer to the type of activity which takes place here. Along the entire stretch of the park, there have been placed lamps and chairs especially designed for Prags Boulevard. The approximately 100 lamps have a unique yellow-green neon colour and it is called the Prague Lamp. Another feature are the 700 chairs that can be moved around individually, so you can find a place in the sun or shade.”

prof. kural said that the space isn’t actually used as much as was hoped for. our group thought that there might be several reasons for this, including the generally inhospitable danish weather, a lack of places to buy food nearby, and the absence of mature trees. although i love this project, i have to agree that it isn’t as functional as the idea of the design suggests. i like to think of it more as an awesome bike path than as a park. hopefully over time, it will be used more and more. click here for a link to my earlier blog entry about prags boulevard.



#2: Holmbladsgade Sports + Culture Center (Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter, 2006)


As with Prags Boulevard the Culture and Sports Centre was also built as a part of neighbourhood facelift scheme. The centre does not only have facilities for regular sporting activities such handball or basketball, but also tai chi or yoga can be practised on the so-called multifunctional plateaux. Apart from sporting activities the centre plays host to concerts and theatre events. The canopy streches like a webbing between the existing buildings and the new, and the transparent material is intended to ensure optimum incidence of light. When darkness falls the building will appear like a radiant crystal with all the shadows inside visible from the streets.”

i also like this project a lot, and this is the first time i’ve been able to visit it when it was actually in use. various community groups use the main court space, and there are other, smaller activity areas for wall climbing, ping pong, and dance. theatre groups and chess clubs also rent the multipurpose rooms. here’s a link to my valle blog entry on some of dorte mandrup arkitekter’s projects, including the holmbladsgade sports + culture center.



#3: Maritime Youth Center (Plot, 2003-2004)


Built as a part of the neighbourhood facelift scheme the Maratime Youth Center plays host to Sundby Sailing Association’s youth section, as well as the kids and youngsters of the area. The centre is a starting point for water activities, and the buildings below the wooden deck has room for more social activities. Depending on how the weather will be, you can either service the boats inside or outside and hold talks and workshops. The wooden deck has an outdoor space of 1600 square metres, which is substantially more than the projected 375. This solution deals with the problem of contaminated soil which is isolated underneath the wooden surface and the money that had to be spent on cleaning up could be used elsewhere.”

i’ve visited this project once before and didn’t get a lot of new information on this trip, but it seems to be a fun, innovative building. it definitely gives off a ‘youthful’ vibe and fits into the beach and harbour area with its wavy form. i really like that one is able to inhabit the roof of the entire building – there were several kids playing on it and sliding down it while we were visiting.



#4: Amager Strandpark (Hasløv & Kjærsgaard, 2004-2005)


The Amager Beach Front is located just of the west coast of Amager. It consists of the beach along the coastal road, a lagoon, an island and 2 parks. Along the island there are situated 4 stations containing all the service facilities you will require on a day at the beach and the curved pathway connects them together. In the northern part of the island the landscape is made up of sand dunes, and at the southern part you will encounter more park-like grounds. Amager Strand Beach has been thirty years underway with the final framework outlined in 2000. With the Metro station stopping nearby the area attracts people from all over Copenhagen.”

what a great beach park. i love how simple the “bunker” structures are and how much emphasis is actually on the landscape of the beach. here’s a link to my earlier blog entry about amager strandpark.



#5: Kastrup Public Bath (White Architects, 2004)


The Kastrup Public Bath takes up the tradition from Helgoland, which had to be torn down in order to make room for Amager Strand Beach. It consists of the main building on water, a new bathing beach and a new service building onshore. In addition there will be constructed a gigantic Amphitheatre on land. A 100metre long bridge leads from beach and out to the Lido. The Lido is constructed from azobe timber which has a high resistance to saltwater. It has a circular shape and a windscreen winding all the way around. The lowest point of screen is 1.5 metres and reaches up to 8 metres. As well being multifunctional and accessible for disabled the structure also offers a sculptural sight for those taking an evening stroll along the beach.”

this project is located at the southern end of amager strandpark. we were there on a pretty crisp and windy day (great skies, though!) and inside the ‘donut,’ it was sunny, warm, and pleasant. though not quite pleasant enough to take a dip in the sound. there were a number of people just hanging out there – picnicking, playing guitar, and so on. that was where we ended the day and then stayed for a while to enjoy the sun and the view. : )



not quite spring…

March 17, 2008


my friend, cat, and i found this beautiful bed of purple crocuses (croci?) at kongens have on saturday. i thought it made a lovely patterned lawn with rosenborg slot in the background. (i call this post “not quite spring” for two reasons…#1: i’ve been told that this is the actual name of a season in denmark, to be followed by “not quite summer;” #2: even as i post this green, flowery springtime photo, it has begun to snow outside…)