Danish COBE Architects and Gottlieb Paludan Architects have redesigned Nørreport Station in Copenhagen. Focusing on sustainability, the two architectural practices have given new life to one of the busiest traffic hubs in Denmark.
New Nørreport Station was inaugurated in January, after undergoing renovation and redesign for about three years. The revamp of the station consisted of three subprojects: an urban-space project with redesign of the forecourt and station buildings, surfacing, bicycle parking, access and traffic flows; renovation works of the platform for regional trains; and an overhaul of the bridge constructions supporting the entire forecourt.
Given that Nørreport Station has 150,000 passengers and 200,000 passers-by every day, the two teams of architects took three key values into consideration when redesigning Nørreport Station: passenger flow, transparency and accessibility.
“The assignment turned out to be about making a new urban space, rather than about designing a new station building. The hardest part in redesigning New Nørreport Station was to create this urban space, where people can be at ease and feel at one with their environment, while at the same time getting the whole infrastructure to work,” said Jan Loerakker, architect at Gottlieb Paludan Architects.
The urban-space project shifts the entire station forecourt southwards, establishing a connection with the mediaeval town as well as direct pedestrian access to Nørregade, Fiolstræde and Købmagergade, which are main streets into the city centre.
“The whole redesign is permeated by sustainability. First, there are green roofs and sun panels on top of the station buildings – but that is just one sustainable aspect of this project. Behavioural sustainability is another important element of the plan – the flow of people going to and from the station has to work out well,” commented Jan Loerakker.
Some 1,900 new bicycle parking spaces are provided in sunken ‘bicycle beds’ on the station forecourt, while the bicycle stands at the station are a new type developed by Gottlieb Paludan and COBE Architects. It reduces the required storage area per bike to 0.7 square metres – so responding to the growing need for bicycle parking in Copenhagen.
“A third sustainable element in the redesign is that it reflects the need for architecture to move with the times. In 20 years, different needs may call for different architecture, and so New Nørreport Station must be adaptable in this way. So, instead of calling our architecture “sustainable”, you could call it “resilient”,” added Jan Loerakker.