Danish architectural firm COBE Architects is turning an old silo in Copenhagen into modern housing. The silo is located in Nordhavnen, an old harbour district in Copenhagen. In recent years, Nordhavnen has undergone redevelopment, with the district’s composition going from old industrial buildings to housing, cafés and public plazas. One of the philosophies guiding the urban development plan, which COBE is also behind, involves the preservation of some of those old industrial buildings.
Among these is The Silo, a housing project led by Union Holding by Klaus Kastbjerg and designed by COBE in collaboration with Wessberg and Alectia. The Silo is a 62-metre-long, 17-storey-tall corn silo that will eventually house 40 high-rise apartments. Because of the floor-to-floor spatial variations that were necessary to handle grain in the past, all the apartments will be very different. In addition to the apartments, The Silo will also host public functions on the top and bottom floors. The top floor will feature a restaurant, sky bar and conference area, while a public exhibition space is located on the bottom floor.
The public spaces on the top and bottom floors ensure that the building will be used actively all day and guarantee a multidimensional experience for those who use the building. People will inhabit The Silo, but it will also be a destination for Copenhageners; COBE sees it as serving as a kind of urban silo.
A new floating element is located on the top floor. This add-on is known as 360° Nordhavn, and it will house a number of spaces, ranging from a bar to a conference centre. In terms of architectural qualities, a new reflecting glass façade creates a contrast between the existing silo and the add-on. During the day, the façade reflects the surroundings, including the sky, the water, the horizon and the city skyline. In the evening, the add-on is highlighted by the light shining from inside.
COBE’s design covers the rest of the concrete building in a climate façade to increase insulation. The design also features floor-to-ceiling twice- and triple-glazed windows that deliver panoramic views for each apartment while limiting heat from the sun.
“The architectural concept for the transformation of the silo is about renewing and exploiting the original silo’s potential but at the same time maintaining and strengthening the silo’s distinctive character”, states Dan Stubbergaard, owner, founder and creative director of COBE.
Apartments in The Silo offer a multitude of different floor-to-ceiling heights and either one or two floors. In addition, every home has at least one balcony with views of Copenhagen and the sea in up to three directions. The maximum floor height is nearly 8 metres, while the sizes of the apartments range from about 80 square metres to 800 square metres.
The Silo’s transformation will be complete by the end of 2016. If you are looking for a new apartment, The Silo is open to visitors every Sunday. Come see a preview of what your next apartment could look like.
5 July 2017, update: The Silo is now done and ready for residents.